Dental Article / GENERAL DENTAL /

Cerec One Day Crowns: Everything You Need to Know

21 Feb 2021

A modern Hi-Tech alternative to traditional dental crowns. Take advantage of all the benefits of this technology. If you have a heavily broken tooth that is weakened and want to restore it to its original shape, you’ll need a dental crown.

Traditionally this restoration process would usually require you to have at least two visits and a period of time where you have a temporary crown before getting the final crown. This temporary crown can be uncomfortable and returning twice can be inconvenient.

Luckily, there’s a new technology that will help you avoid all these troubles, known as Cerec one day crowns.In fact this technology started 35 years ago and over the course of time has become much more advanced.

Sydney Road Dental Care is one of the few practices that has invested in the technology and training Cerec can provide. So if you want to know more about Cerec, what it is and how it can benefit you, keep on reading!

Cerec milling machine an amazing technology in the modern dental practice

What is Cerec?

Cerec is a novel state of the art technology that is used for tooth reconstructing and restorations in dental clinics.

The word “Cerec” is short for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic. It was designed to streamline the crown creation and restoration process.

The astonishingly effective technology allows our dentists to create tooth restorations and dental crowns by scanning, designing, milling, staining, glazing and issuing a crown, all in a single visit!

This way you won’t have to wait the traditional two weeks between the first crown preparation visit and the second visit where the crown is placed. Which is why they’re also known as “One Day Crowns”.

The procedure of the Cerec technology uses advanced machines and a variety of computer technology to get the job done instead of the traditional way that takes much longer.

In fact, as the name suggests, the entire procedure can be completed while you’re sitting on the dental chair! This technology is a perfect solution for a lot of people for a wide variety of reasons, but more on that shortly.

Cerec comprises of the 3D scanner, milling machine and furnace. The software and training of the dentist is used to design a perfect fitting crown in one day

How does Cerec one day crowns work?

A typical Cerec machine is composed of a specialised computer, camera, and a manufacturing/milling machine all rolled into a single device that carries out a specific procedure.

The procedure relies on advanced technologies, such as Computer-Aided Design (CAD) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) to prepare a perfect crown for the teeth.

Cerec machines also use top-tier 3D imaging software to create a highly detailed and accurate representation of the teeth and eliminate errors and flaws.

After the computer gets all the details needed, your dentist will refine the design of the crown for you before it starts creating the crown right away by milling directly from a single ceramic block.

Once milled the crown is then polished, stained in order to match the colour of your existing teeth and finally glazed in a furnace. The new crown is then placed on your tooth by the dentist in a procedure that is completely finished on the same visit.


What are the advantages of using Cerec machines?

There are many benefits that you’ll enjoy from opting for Cerec technology when compared to the traditional way of making dental crowns. So as promised, here are some of these advantages, to name a few!

1. The entire process finished in one visit with no Follow-Ups

Traditional crowns and veneers are sent away to be made. Between scanning, milling and issuing a dental crown you should expect to wait for up to several weeks before you have your final crown. In the meantime you will have a temporary crown which can be uncomfortable and can become loose.

In today’s busy world fewer visits are much more convenient.

Also if you happen to have a broken tooth right before an important event like a wedding or a graduation ceremony where you have to smile and take pictures, using Cerec’s technology to get the whole ordeal out of the way surely is the wisest decision.

Our patients are always thrilled to have the new crown in one visit. On average it takes only two hours from start to finish.


2. No need for temporary crowns

Traditionally after your tooth has been prepared you will be provided with a temporary crown.

If you happened to use one of these, you’ll know how annoying they can be. A temporary crown is designed to be very weakly bonded, so it’s easy to remove.

Because of that, patients are usually advised to avoid certain foods that will damage the temporary crown.

Moreover, the temporary crown is made from a material that clearly stands out from the rest of your teeth.

Since Cerec’s technology allows you to have the final crown on the same day you won’t have to worry about using temporary crowns anymore.

Cerec blocks are purple when they start. The furnace crystallises the ceramic and the colour then changes to match your teeth.

3. More comfortable experience

The process of imaging and placement of a crown might use anesthetic injections. However, if the new crown is placed on your tooth in the same visit, you’ll have to go through much fewer overall injections than multiple visits. This means that you will only need to be numb once.

Keep in mind that with the traditional method the temporary crowns can often be sensitive for the few weeks they are on. So you can avoid this stage entirely with the Cerec.


4. Extremely cost and time effective when compared to other methods

While calculating the costs of having a dental crown you have to keep in mind the costs of trips to the clinic as well as the potential lost time throughout the whole process.

If you’re a busy person who values every minute of their day, a technology that gets the whole procedure completed in a single visit will always come in handy.


5. Minimises material distortion and human error as much as possible

A traditional crown needs a lot of human interaction, so it depends mainly on the accuracy of the dentist and the dental technicians, especially while taking dental impressions and casting a mold for the crown, putting the final product at the risk of human errors. When there are errors we can only find out when the crown is about to be issued. After waiting weeks for your crown if there is an issue it is never a pleasant experience being told that a new mold has to be taken and a few more weeks is required for another crown to be made.

On the other hand, Cerec’s process is almost completely automated with minimal human interventions, which means a much lower chance for errors and flaws in your crown. Furthermore the accuracy of the scanning and milling needs to be seen to be appreciated. Cerec crowns are accurate to within 25 microns which is less than half the width of a human hair. Our patients always enjoy seeing their crown being designed in front of them and then seeing the milling process.

Scanning the mouth is fast, simple and comfortable with the 3D scanner technology

6. You won’t need to take messy or unpleasant impressions

Unlike traditional methods where the dentist uses an impression material that’s quite messy and tastes horrible and gag-inducing, you’ll use advanced 3D imaging technology.

This completely eliminates the hassle of keeping bad-tasting materials in your mouth and staying still as the impression material sets over several minutes.

Our 3D scanner is like a small camera the size of a blackboard marker which is carefully waved around in your mouth capturing all the details to form a simulation of your mouth.


7. Minimises waste and save as much of the tooth as possible

With cerec crowns, you won’t only minimise wasted time, but also the teeth themselves! Traditional crown methods might require the dentist to file down the teeth heavily to suit the crown.

However Cerec crowns can be designed more conservatively so it fits without the need for intensive filing of the teeth. Your dentist can carefully see which areas of the tooth is sufficiently prepared to allow for enough crown thickness. This also has the added benefit of reducing the need for further treatment like root canal therapy which is necessary if the tooth nerve becomes exposed during preparation.


What is the procedure of Cerec technology?

Now that you know more about Cerec technology and how it works, you might be wondering about what you should expect during your dental visit.

So in this section, we’ll walk you through the full procedure of having a dental crown via Cerec technology.


Step 1: Examination and preparation

The first step when you first visit a dental clinic for a tooth crown is examination. The dentist will evaluate your dental health to determine whether Cerec crowns treatment is right for you.

The dentist will check on your teeth and find how much of a healthy structure you have remaining to see whether you need a simple filling or a dental crown.

If you need a crown and choose Cerec’s procedure, the dentist will start the process by injecting an anesthetic so that they can prepare the tooth for restoration.

The restoration process usually starts by removing any weakened tooth structure as well as decay before carrying on.

Designing a crown has never been easier or more accurate. Completed chair side as you watch.

Step 2: The 3D modelling of the dental crown

Next up, you’ll need to make a digital impression of the tooth you need to restore by scanning. This is one of the main points of difference between Cerec and traditional crowns.

The built-in high-resolution camera of the Cerec machine will scan your mouth and take accurate images of the tooth, all with a push of a button and without using any materials. This is a simple and comfortable process.

After that, the computer uses its 3D software to convert these images into a three-dimensional super accurate representation of the mouth.

In addition to that, the machine creates an approximate virtual model of the crown needed to be prepared while your dentist makes some modifications to the design of the crown when necessary. You’ll be able to watch all this on the computer screen with the dentist.


Step 3: The milling unit creates the crown

By this step in traditional crown creation, your dentist will tell you to wait a few weeks before your crown arrives. Meanwhile, your dentist will fit a temporary crown until the real one is finished.

However, this step is completely different in Cerec. Once your dentist is finished modifying the design of the crown, the final blueprints are sent wirelessly to the milling machine for the process to start.

The milling machine cuts out the shape of the crown with high-end cutting technologies using diamond burs for ultimate precision.

Before it starts cutting, the dentist will also select the correct colour of the ceramic block based on the original colour of the tooth to match your teeth exactly. The milling is made from one single block of ceramic to be as accurate and durable as possible.

After choosing a colour, the milling process starts and will usually take between 5 to 20 minutes to complete, depending on the complexity of the tooth design as well as its size.

Cerec crown leaving the furnace


The Cerec crown leaves the furnace where it was heated up to 800 degrees celsius. This is then left to slowly cool before bonding on to your tooth.

Step 4: Placement of the crown

When the on-site milling machine is done, the crown will be washed, polished, stained to match the colour of your teeth and then glazed in a furnace which heats up to 800 degrees celsius. It is then allowed to cool before it is bonded to your tooth. Your new crown will be strong, smooth and blend in cosmetically with the rest of your teeth.

From start to finish it will take 90 minutes to 2 hours. There will be no need for a follow-up visit or for you to return in a few weeks like with traditional crowns, which saves you both time and money. It’s that simple!


Are Cerec crowns as good as traditional lab-made dental crowns?

The fact that Cerec crowns take less time to make than a traditional crown isn’t by any means an indication that it has inferior quality or strength.

In fact, Cerec crowns are as durable as any traditional dental crown because it’s made from ceramic that is cut from a single block. We typically use a ceramic known as lithium disilicate which is four times stronger than the traditional crowns known as PFM. PFM crowns or porcelain fused to metal crowns were weaker and prone to having the porcelain chip off the metal base.

So technically, Cerec crowns may even be a better option when you take all the previously mentioned advantages of the Cerec method into consideration.


How long do Cerec crowns last?

Ideally, a cerec crown should last anywhere between 12 to 15 years, which is roughly the same amount of time a traditional or regular dental crown is expected to last. In reality crowns can often last much longer if you return to the dentist every 6 months for regular care.

To prolong the life of Cerec crowns we recommend good home oral hygiene, a diet low in sugar and of course your six monthly visit to the dentist.


How much will Cerec one day crowns cost you?

A Cerec restoration procedure costs the same as the traditional crown sent to the dental lab. Expect to pay $1800-2000 for your crown which includes the preparation, removal of any old filling or decay, scanning, designing, milling, staining, glazing, issuing and adjusting.

Remember that the crown is there to save your tooth so that you can continue eating and smiling. A lost tooth can reduce your ability to eat and replacement with a dental implant can cost 3-4 times more.


Do Cerec one day crowns have disadvantages?

Cerec one day crowns is an almost pain-free procedure. And as you can see, the milling machine uses diamond burs to cut into a single block of ceramic, so it’s as durable as regular crowns. So what’s the catch here?

In certain circumstances a Cerec crown is not suitable and one made from the dental lab may be required. This can be the case if the crown is extremely difficult to match with the adjacent tooth like the top front tooth. A dental lab will need to place different layers of ceramic to allow for a perfect match. Another example would be the case where an entire smile is being redesigned or the bite is being recreated. These are much more complicated treatments which requires your dentist to work with the dental lab.


Wrap Up

There you have it! A complete guide with everything you need to know about Cerec One Day Crowns. As you can see, opting for Cerec crowns rather than the traditional method comes with a wide variety of benefits.

The procedure has revolutionised the process of tooth restorations. Cerec crowns can save you both money and time in the long run.

Moreover, you’ll avoid human errors, messy and awful tasting impressions, and temporary crowns all the while staying as pain-free as possible!

Sydney Road Dental Care has invested in the technology and training to provide you with these benefits. Please contact us to find out if a same-day Cerec crown is suitable for you.