CEREC Crowns vs. Traditional Dental Crowns: Pros and Cons

CEREC Crowns vs. Traditional Dental Crowns: Pros and Cons

The teeth of an individual are important not only for eating but also for social interaction. A nice set of teeth, paired with a lively smile, can easily brighten another person’s day. For those having problems with their teeth, the dental crown is often the solution. A dental crown is a tooth-shaped covering, or cap, that is placed over a tooth to restore its strength or modify the appearance. The CEREC Crown is one of the most popular types of dental crowns available.

Read on to learn the answers to the following questions:

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of CEREC crowns vs. traditional crowns?
  • How much do traditional and CEREC crowns cost?
  • How long do CEREC crowns last compared to traditional crowns?

What Is a Traditional Crown?


The traditional, or conventional, crown is a type of dental restoration that is typically completed in two stages. The first appointment will be for shaping the tooth and taking impressions of the result. The impression will act as a guide for the technician to manufacture a crown in the dental laboratory. This process will take about 1 to 3 weeks. After the crown is ready, you will need to make a second appointment for the crown fitting.

Common Materials

  • Full metal
  • Full ceramic
  • Ceramic-metal

Advantage of Traditional Crowns

  • Made of durable materials

Metal crowns are sturdier. This type of crown material can have alloys as well like platinum or gold. It can easily withstand the wear of biting and chewing.

Disadvantages of Traditional Crowns

You may be more prone to tooth sensitivity

  • Tooth sensitivity

This type of crown has a greater risk for tooth sensitivity.

  • Can develop cracks or chipping

Some types of traditional crowns like the Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM) are sometimes more liable to chipping or cracks.

  • Need for multiple appointments

This procedure will need at least 2 appointments, followed by other appointments for re-works or adjustments if necessary.

  • Longer waiting time

The crown needs to be manufactured in a dental laboratory and will take about 1 to 3 weeks.

  • Need for a temporary crown

Due to the time needed to manufacture the permanent one, a patient needs to have a temporary crown. The temporary crown can be bulky and uncomfortable to use.

  • Messy impression

The dentist needs to use dental putty to take the impression.

  • Difficult to blend

Other types like metal or alloy will stand out from the rest of your teeth.

What Is a CEREC Crown?


Chair-side Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEREC for short, is a type of dental crown that is considered a restorative dental breakthrough. Unlike traditional crowns, the CEREC crown is made using Computer-Aided Design (CAD) or Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM), which makes the crown much more efficient. You do not have to make multiple appointments for a crown because the process can be done in a single appointment. The CEREC process makes getting a dental crown more convenient.

Advantages of CEREC Crowns

Show off natural-looking teeth

  • Fast and convenient

With the aid of the computer, you can have the entire crown procedure completed in a single day. From the scanning of the tooth (using digital imaging) to the manufacturing, and down to the fitting, the entire process will only take a few hours of your time.

  • Comfortable

Wearing a CEREC can be much more comfortable than a traditional crown due to the accuracy of the impression and the manufacturing process done by the computer. The material used makes the CEREC crown more comfortable in the mouth.

  • Looks natural

Using modern technology in the manufacturing process, the crown will look almost identical to your other teeth. It blends well and does not look out of place like other crowns sometimes do.

  • No-mess impression

Using a digital impression, or scanning of the tooth, eliminates the traditional use of dental putty. No more putty mixing and messy impressions.

  • Long-lasting

The average lifespan of a CEREC crown is around 14 years. However, with regular dental check-ups, you can prolong the crown’s life.

  • No need for temporary crowns

Due to the same-day process, a temporary crown is not necessary.

  • Same-day adjustments

If you find some discomfort after fitting, the problem can be addressed as soon as possible. No need to send it back to a dental laboratory for re-works like a traditional crown. However, it is seldom for CEREC crowns to need adjustment because the digital imaging and the manufacturing process is extremely accurate.

Disadvantages of CEREC Crowns

Despite its technological advantages, CEREC crowns have various downsides

  • Less durable than other traditional types

Although the CEREC crown is durable, other materials (like the PFM) restoration and metal crowns) used in traditional crowns are much more resistant to wear and tear.

  • CEREC crowns are not for all

Not all people are eligible for CEREC crowns. For fractures where the imaging device cannot fully capture (usually below the gum line), a traditional crown is recommended.

  • Cost a bit more than the traditional

CEREC crowns typically cost between $1,000 to $1,500, which covers dental laboratory expenses, material costs, and professional fees.

  • Availability

Not all dental clinics have a CEREC dental machine, so it may not be available in some areas. Furthermore, dentists need specific training before being able to operate the CEREC machine.

With a clear view of the superiority of the CEREC over the traditional crown, it is no wonder that it has become a much sought-after option. The convenience alone, including the same-day process, makes it a modern-day miracle of dentistry. Unfortunately, not everyone can benefit from this technological advancement for now.

If you are wondering if you would qualify for a CEREC crown, Lambton Family Dental is at your disposal. Visit our dental office in Sarnia so we can have you in for a free consultation. Feel free to give us a call at (519) 344-5747 to schedule an appointment or free consultation. You may also email us at [email protected]. You can also fill in our contact form and leave your contact details so we can reach out to you.