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In today’s digital age, dental patients have access to several types of crowns. If your tooth is broken or damaged, your dentist can recommend a CEREC crown or lab crown. What is the difference between the two options? The answer to this question can help you choose the best dental crown to protect or restore your damaged tooth or teeth. 

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Can I get a CEREC crown on the same day?

Yes, you can get a same-day crown, in which case you would make just a single appointment with the dentist. The dentist leverages a technology called digital impression to achieve the same-day crown.

Intraoral Scanning and CAD-CAM Milling Technologies is the most reliable digital impression and production technology that promises high-performance milling and grinding, thanks to milling/grinding strategies. In addition, this digital technology allows capturing highly accurate impression data in minutes without using inconvenient and messy traditional impressions materials. That makes it possible to fabricate the crown on the same day.

CEREC Workflow

CEREC vs. Lab Crowns:
What’s the difference?

CEREC and lab-made crowns are dental caps that protect and restore damaged, stained or misshapen teeth. Both can save the tooth or hide imperfections and defects. But they are not the same. 

CEREC is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. It is a system that uses digital imaging, computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM), and in-house milling machines to create high-quality CEREC crowns. First, your dentist creates a 3D digital impression of your mouth. Then, they’ll feed the data into a milling machine to fabricate CEREC crowns. 

If you’re getting lab-made crowns, your dentist will use molds to capture your mouth’s impression. Then, they’ll send the info to a dental lab to fabricate your porcelain crowns. You’ll have to wear a temporary crown until your permanent crown is ready for placement.If the lab creates a dental crown that is too small, the dentist will grind more teeth to place the cap. 

Another difference between CEREC and lab crowns is the materials used. CEREC crowns are made of tooth-like composite resins and ceramics, while traditional crowns use porcelain and metals such as gold, silver, or stainless steel. Shiny metals are attention-grabbing and less suitable for self-conscious patients. 

Tooth Preparation

Day 1

Traditional Impression

Day 1

Production of the Crowns

Day 10

Insertion of the Crowns

Day 10-14

Traditional Lab Crowns Workflow & Timeline

Same-Day CEREC Crowns Workflow & Timeline

Tooth Preparation

Day 1

Production of the Crowns

Day 1 (takes 22 minutes to fabricate a crown)

Insertion of the Crowns

Day 1 (in an hour)

Digital Impression

Day 1

Can you get a root canal and crown on the same day?

Yes, you can! The root canal procedure is a two-step process for eradicating tooth decay. First, your dentist drills your tooth and cleans and seals the root canal. Second, they install dental crowns to restore and save the tooth. In the past, patients received temporary crowns after the first step. They had to wait around 10 days to get permanent crowns. But this is no longer the case.


Nowadays, advanced digital dentistry solutions allow dentists to complete both steps on the same day. After cleaning and sealing the root canal, your dentist will take digital images of the tooth. Then, they'll use CAD/CAM technology to create a digital model of your tooth. Innovative dental clinics like Toronto Smile Design have milling machines in-house. So, your Toronto dentist can fabricate a CEREC crown in about an hour and place it over your tooth. The best same-day crowns in Toronto can repair the damage due to tooth decay and restore functions and aesthetics.

Milling Phase of CEREC Crowns

Are same-day crowns more expensive?

Some people wrongly assume that same-day dental crowns cost more than a traditional crown. That reasoning does not hold. In any case, the overall expenses reduce because you no longer need temporary crowns with this approach.

A professional dentist will ensure that you gain access to all the information that you need.

Another cost-saving benefit of a same-day crown is that all it takes is one appointment. That saves you the money you would have used to travel back and forth to the dental office.

How long does it take to make a CEREC crown?

Different types of crowns, such as porcelain crowns and CEREC crowns, take a varying amount of time to make. For example, it takes anywhere from ten to 30 minutes to make a CEREC crown. Most patients find this time record appealing because the offsite lab takes two to three weeks to create the dental crown.

How many visits do you need for a crown?

You can get your crown placed with just a single visit to the dentist. That's because modern digital impression technology completes everything in-house, taking away unnecessarily long waiting times.

Do they numb you when you get a crown?

The fear of a painful procedure stands out as one of the main reasons some people do not go to the dentist's office. However, if you plan on getting a crown, you have no reason to worry because the process is virtually painless. The procedure starts with the numbing of your mouth before any filling or fitting.

When the numbing wears off, it may take about a day or two to get back to feeling normal. During this period, you may feel uncomfortable even though the procedure was performed on natural teeth. Your dentist could recommend appropriate over-the-counter pills to tackle the pain.

Digital Impression in Toronto Smile Design - Yorkville Dental

How long does it take to make a permanent crown?

The time it takes to get a permanent crown depends on your chosen method. When using the traditional crown placement procedure, you will have to make at least two visits to the dental office spread days apart. The first day involves assessing the tooth structure and taking the required impression using a casting material. Next, the dentist delivers the cast to a laboratory, from where it may take some time to customize your crown.

Scheduling two visits to the dental office can significantly inconvenience you. Luckily, the dentist can use digital impression technology that makes it possible to execute the 15-minute crown procedure to design and manufacture your crown. The dentist can then place the customized ceramic crowns.

The introduction of CADCAM dental milling technology is a game-changer because it eliminates the need for temporary crowns. Doing so saves time and the number of dental visits that you need to place the crown.

Smile Design case by Toronto Ceramic Crown and Porcelain Veneers by Cosmetic Dentist Dr.Johnson

One of the Porcelain Crowns and Veneers Patient of Dr. Johnson

How long does a root canal last without a crown?

When you got root canal therapy, it is crucial that you also place a crown for the right finishing touch. Doing so seals the tooth and strengthens it for the long term. Failure to get a crown exposes your root canal to the risk of breaking, chipping, or losing the affected tooth. How soon the mentioned risks happen depends on how actively you engage your teeth.

How much does a CEREC crown cost?

Although CEREC crowns require expensive digital dentistry solutions, they cost about the same as a traditional crown. The cost of CEREC crowns ranges from $1200 to $1,500 per tooth. Most insurance policies cover medically necessary dental restorations but not cosmetic dentistry. Check with your dental insurance provider to minimize your financial burden. 

What are the Pros and cons of CEREC crowns?

Traditional lab-made crowns served dentists and dental patients diligently for decades. But the CEREC crown is the future. Like other types of crowns, CEREC crowns have some pros and cons. 

The advantages of CEREC crowns

Quality: CEREC offers technologically advanced alternatives to traditional lab crowns. The system leverages CAD/CAD software and a milling machine to fabricate your dental crown from a solid block of porcelain or composite resin. Overall, CEREC provides high-quality dental crowns, with a better bite than traditional lab crowns. 

Time efficiency: A CEREC crown is ready for placement in 60-90 minutes. Your Toronto dentist can complete the entire process in a single appointment. In comparison, you’ll have to visit the dental clinic twice and wait 1-2 weeks to receive a traditional dental crown. CEREC crowns are more time efficient than lab-made crowns. 

Durable: Milling machines carve each CEREC crown from a single solid block of ceramic, reducing the risk of chipping and cracking. These crowns typically last between 10 and 15 years. Maintain good oral hygiene to extend your crown’s lifespan. 

Aesthetics: The CEREC system allows dentists to colour-match dental crowns and natural teeth. So, CEREC crowns are more aesthetically pleasing than lab crowns. CEREC crowns are indistinguishable from natural teeth and ideal for self-conscious patients. 

Convenient: The CEREC system provides same-day dental crowns. So, you won’t have to visit the dental clinic twice or bear the discomfort of wearing a temporary crown as you wait for the permanent crown from the dental lab.

Precision: CEREC uses digital imaging, computer-aided technology, and advanced milling machines to create the perfect dental crown. This approach is more precise than traditional crown fabrication processes. 

The disadvantages of CEREC crowns

Limited colour options: CEREC crowns are made from porcelain or composite resins. Both materials have a unique shade of white similar to natural teeth. So, it limits your options to a single tooth-like colour. 

Availability: Some dental clinics don’t have the expertise to create CEREC crowns in-house. And others cannot afford to acquire the latest milling machines and digital imaging solutions. So, CEREC crowns are not widely available as traditional crowns. Toronto Smile Design is one of the few dental clinics that offer high-quality CEREC crowns in the greater Toronto area. 

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Cosmetic Dentist Toronto - Dr.Johnson Ozgur - Toronto Oral Surgeon

Toronto Smile Design’s Dr. Johnson Ozgur is a Toronto dentist with a Master's Degree in Oral Surgery and years of experience in dental crowns. You can rely on Dr. Johnson’s expertise to correct defects on your tooth. At Toronto Smile Design Clinic, we are obsessed with perfection. Contact us today to restore your authentic smile!

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