What are CEREC crowns and how are they different from traditional porcelain crowns? 

Have you ever needed a crown due to a broken or cracked tooth or you lost a large filling?  Maybe you’ve had a root canal or needed to replace a failing crown.  Well there is exciting cutting-edge technology to be able to create a crown start to finish in one simple appointment without a mouthful of impression material.  They are called CEREC crowns. 

At Creekside Dental in Bothell we know how important your time is and how much you value your dental health.  We work hard to provide excellent crowns using conventional or convenient CEREC crowns utilizing advanced dental technology.  

What is CEREC? 

CEREC is a high tech dental device in the office that consists of both a computer and a milling unit.  CEREC (or Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEramic REConstruction) uses CAD/CAM technology (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing). CEREC technology allows us to create your CEREC crown in only one visit.  The technology allows us to map the inside of your mouth and takes a scanned digital image of your tooth that is very accurate.  Your crown is then milled out of a solid ceramic block by the milling machine, polished, fitted and bonded to your tooth after it’s prepared by Dr. Moody.   

How are they different from conventional porcelain crowns? 

Chairside CEREC crowns differ from typical crowns in that they are bonded to the tooth the same day.  Conventional crowns require two shorter visits and require a temporary crown to be in place for 7-10 days while the lab makes a crown.  The patient will return for a second visit to have the temporary removed and the laboratory made crown cemented or bonded in place.  Also, CEREC restorations can often have a more conservative preparation of the tooth.  And not only is the one-day service a great benefit to patients, the time involved is not significantly longer than the two visits total needed for a typical crown.  Plus, the fee is not any different. 

Why not make all crowns using this technology? 

While CEREC crowns are definitely a great way to make crowns and a nice option to save time in the chair it sometimes makes sense to make a traditional crown.  Sometimes esthetics is more critical and we can make a beautiful Emax (lithium disilicate) crown for anterior teeth that is a very life-like glass ceramic but requires us to have our lab fabricate the crown.  Then there are Zirconia crowns which are a newer but even stronger material that we'll often use on molars where patients have a history of clenching or grinding their teeth or have had cracks in their teeth before.  And if it is a deep "prep" it may be difficult to get a good digital image of your tooth, often with replacing old crowns and then we'll make a regular impression for a conventional crown.   

Ultimately, we want to be able to offer some great choices to patients where few other dental offices offer these different types of crowns. At Creekside Dental we want to provide the best possible crown that suits your teeth and is either made with our exciting CEREC technology or made by our excellent lab and customized for your mouth to make restorations that last a long time for your strong and healthy smile. 

Like they say on the medication commercials "call your doctor and find out if CEREC crowns are right for you."