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A crown is a type of dental restoration. It “caps” the entire tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance.
Traditional dental crowns require two dentist visits. At the first appointment, the dentist prepares your tooth by removing any decay and damaged tooth structure and shapes the tooth for the crown. The dentist then takes an impression of the prepared tooth and sends it to the dental laboratory that will make your crown.
You'll have to wear a temporary crown until your second appointment several weeks later. Then, once the lab has finished making the permanent crown, you'll return to have it fitted and cemented in place.
Same-day CEREC crowns are different. CEREC is short for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. The name refers to the fact that the crown is made chairside in your dentist's office, without the need for a dental lab.
CEREC uses revolutionary computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology. It allows your dentist to design, fabricate, and place your crown in a single visit. The entire process takes just a few hours. There's no need for additional appointments or temporary crowns in most cases.1
Most people who need a crown are candidates for a same-day CEREC restoration.
The procedure is ideal if you have a tooth that's damaged, decayed, worn down, or misshapen. Dentists also place crowns on teeth with root canals to protect them from breaking.
For minor tooth decay, fillings are an option. For more severe tooth decay, a filling may not be enough. Instead, a dentist can use a CEREC crown to support the tooth and prevent future problems from developing.2
The exact procedure may vary depending on the tooth being treated. But in general, here's what to expect:3
There are many benefits to CEREC crowns, including:4
There are also some drawbacks, including:
If you're considering CEREC crowns, talk to your dentist about whether they're right for you.
CEREC crowns require the same care as your natural teeth. That means brushing twice a day and flossing once a day. It’s also important to continue to see your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings.
With proper care, CEREC crowns can last 10 years or more. Some studies show they can last even longer. However, they're not indestructible.5
Habits such as chewing on hard foods, opening bottles with your teeth, or clenching and grinding your teeth can damage a CEREC crown. This can cause it to break or come loose.
The cost of CEREC crowns can vary depending on the tooth being treated, the materials used, and the dentist.
CEREC crowns may cost slightly more than traditional crowns because of the high-tech equipment. The national average cost of a crown is between $500 and $2,000. Since CEREC crowns can also be placed in one visit, they may save you money on office visits.6
Your insurance may cover part or all of the cost of a CEREC crown. But coverage can vary depending on your provider and if the insurance considers the crown to be medically necessary.
For example, insurance should cover the crown if it's necessary to treat large decay or after a root canal. It may not be covered if you request a crown simply to improve your tooth's appearance.
The best way to determine your coverage for dental crowns is to contact your insurance provider directly.
If insurance coverage isn't an option, speak to your dentist. They may offer financing options to help you pay for the procedure.
CEREC crowns aren't the only type of dental crown. There are also:
These are made entirely of porcelain. They're natural-looking and can be matched with your natural tooth color.
They're a good choice if you have a metal allergy. However, some types of porcelain crowns may break more easily than other types of crowns.
CEREC crowns and traditional porcelain crowns are comparable in strength and durability, as they are made from similar materials.
These crowns have a metal base with porcelain on top. They're stronger and more durable than CEREC crowns but may not look as natural. Some people also find that they cause gum irritation.
Gold crowns are usually a gold alloy, i.e. a mix of gold and other metals. Pure gold would be too soft to use for a crown.
Gold crowns are stronger and more durable than CEREC. However, they are also the most expensive type of dental crown.
Like CEREC crowns, resin crowns are metal-free. This makes them a good choice for anyone with metal allergies.
They are made of a combination of plastic and glass. Although they are the least expensive type of traditional crown, they're also the least durable.
Your dentist can help you decide which type of permanent crown is right for you.
A CEREC crown is a type of crown that only requires one dentist visit. They're made using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM).
The benefits of CEREC dental crowns include convenience, comfort, and durability. However, they may not be suitable for every type of tooth. Finding a dentist who offers them may also be difficult.
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