Traditional and CEREC are the two types of dental crowns available. Let us understand the pros and cons of both and see which option is better.

A dental crown helps restore the broken or severely worn-down tooth. If you think you need it, here are the options you should know.


Traditional and CEREC are the two types of dental crowns available. Let us understand the pros and cons of both and see which option is better.


Traditional Dental Crowns


Since many tears, traditional dental crowns have been in use to mend smiles and restore dental health. Over the years, the traditional dental crown has evolved as a dental treatment and added a great deal towards discoveries. 


Based on the material, there are four types of traditional dental crowns:


  • All-metal crowns: These are made using platinum, gold, steel (used for babies), or other metals. Nearly unbreakable, all-metal crowns often last longer. 
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns: These crowns have a layer of metal covered by a porcelain surface. These are durable and can be colored to match the color of teeth.
  • All-porcelain crowns: These are mainly used to restore incisors (front teeth) and mimic the look of a natural tooth better than other types.
  • Resin dental crowns: Resin dental crowns are affordable and have a natural color. These are suitable for people with metal allergies. However, resin dental crowns lack durability.


Given the process involved, all types of traditional crowns require two visits to the dentist. The first, to remove the tooth and clean the affected area to prepare it for crown restoration. For this, the dental technician scans the tooth and gets a temporary crown made for the patient to wear until the permanent crown has been created.


The dentist sends the scans to a dental laboratory, where licensed dental technicians use them to make a permanent crown. It usually takes around 7-10 days. Once made and delivered to the dentist, it is time for a patient’s second visit. This is when the dentist places and cements the permanent crown onto the repaired tooth.


Traditional crowns require a post-foundation if more than half of a tooth’s original crown has been lost. Embedded into the jaw bone, it helps anchor a dental core. The crown is made by fusing gold, porcelain, and/or silver with metal. It’s generally sturdy, matches to a regular tooth, and offers decently accurate alignment and fitting. Overall, a traditional crown has been a satisfactory substitute for a natural tooth. 


However, dentists have also encountered some shortfalls while using traditional crowns. First, the duration (two or even three weeks) of the entire process is too long, which might prolong the period of discomfort for a patient. Besides, temporary crowns may cause sensitivity or get detached, which again may require a trip to the dentist. Also, the porcelain is prone to cracking, chipping, and losing color over time. Except for resin crowns, traditional crowns are costly too. 


Now, let us discuss CEREC crown restorations, a newer option that has much better chances to win the crown for being the best crown. 


So, what are CEREC Crowns?


Created in the early 1980s, Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic (CEREC) crowns have come a long way since then. More efficient and technologically advanced, these have emerged as a preferred choice of patients and reputable dentists.

Making a traditional dental crown takes weeks. Because of its Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), a CEREC crown gets ready during the first appointment. These enable patients to bite and chew better and look as natural as original teeth. In addition, CEREC crowns fit to a Tee. 


How CEREC crowns are created?


First, your dentist will use a small camera to take a 3D impression of your mouth digitally. Then, a milling unit cuts and shapes the ceramic crown(s). The dentist will then paint and coat each tooth to match its color to the rest of your teeth. As the last step, the dentist puts and cements the tooth into your mouth, and then you are good to go home.

The entire process is not more than 2-hour long. The benefits of CEREC crowns include advanced accuracy and precision, a close resemblance to a real tooth, minimum discomfort for the patient because no need to wear a temporary crown or have uncomfortable impressions of the mouth taken, much less post-operative sensitivity, and a process that lasts a few hours only. 


Below are some quick side-by-side comparisons to help you make an informed decision.


What is the difference between the making of traditional and CEREC crowns?


Traditional crowns are made of metals or porcelain or a combination of both. These offer a good fit, but the materials are noticeable when a person talks or smiles, or laughs. It could make the user a bit self-conscious about them. Meanwhile, a CEREC crown is created using ceramic or resin materials. The computer-aided technology gives CEREC crowns a more comfortable fit, and 3D imaging allows dentists to match the tooth color to that of a natural tooth for a more natural look and feel. 


How long do these last?


The lifespan of both types of crowns is typically 10 to 15 years. Rest depends on the patient’s oral hygiene maintenance. 


What is the cost of a traditional vs. CEREC crown?


Because of the advanced technology used to make CEREC crowns, many people assume that these are costlier. Well! That’s not true. The price of a CEREC is nearly as much as a traditional crown, ranging from around $600 to $3,000 per tooth. The total cost of the treatment also depends on factors such as the reputation and experience of the dentist, the number of visits, the distance between your home/office and clinic, and the requirement of medications, if any. Your dentist will share the tentative cost of the treatment before starting it. Insurance may help, but it depends on your coverage. It is a good idea to consult two to three dentists and compare the cost of crown restoration. 


Do you still have questions on traditional and CEREC crowns?


Let us know in the comments section below.


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