How Do Same-Day Crowns Work?

A dental crown is a thin covering of hard material used to strengthen and protect teeth that may have been mishappened or damaged by injury or decay. There has been a variety of custom dental crowns available for decades, but modern technology can edit out some of the steps to make it possible for you to get same-day crown inserts. In many places, the cost of same-day placement is equal or only slightly higher than traditional dental crowns.

Same-day crowns a created using CEREC® (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics), and the entire process from prep to completion usually takes around two hours. That is a far cry from the weeks it could potentially take to get traditional crowns completed and in place. Using CEREC crowns is a way to save time and protect your teeth. This is an excellent option for anyone who has limited free time from work or other responsibilities.

Interested in getting a same-day crown? Dr. Cigno, your local dentist in Greenfield, WI, uses CEREC, providing patients with permanent crowns and other restorations on the very same day as their initial appointment. Same-day crowns are just as durable as traditional crowns, yet require no temporary crowns or follow-up visits. Call us today to learn more!

Why Use Same-Day Crowns?

It usually takes multiple dental appointments to get a finished dental crown when you choose a traditional method. For a quicker fix, CEREC same-day dental crowns are perfect. They are convenient, safe, durable, and permanent. You can go to your dentist for a few hours and then never have to think about that tooth again outside of regular check-ups. Although the initial cost might be more in specific locations, with same-day crowns, you get to skip multiple days off work and the lab fees that come with traditional crowns. There are also smaller advantages like not getting an impression made, which can be a trying ordeal for some people.

What Technologies Are Involved

The same day process involves a lot of advanced technology. A camera is used to capture detailed 3D imaging of the teeth, including color. Then computer programs manipulate this information into a pattern for the milling machine. This device turns a block of correctly colored material into an exact copy of the digital crown. As the tools are refined and newer technology becomes available, this process may become even more efficient. Due to the machine's high cost, not every dental office can afford to offer same-day dental crowns.

Same-Day Crowns vs. Traditional Crowns

Same-day crowns have some serious advantages, but like with everything, there are some drawbacks. It is essential to understand the significant differences between these two options before making a decision.

Price Comparison
The price difference depends on several factors that will be determined by the dental office and the details of your insurance coverage. A few factors that will influence out-of-pocket cost includes the following:

  • The amount your insurance covers
  • What materials are used in the creation of the crown
  • The expertise of the dental professional handling your care
  • Location of the dental office and regional pricing

More Advantages and Disadvantages

There are some pros and cons to choosing any procedure. Here are a few that apply to getting same-day dental crowns.


  • Highly convenient and efficient process that can help those with a busy schedule and allows those who may otherwise be unable to take the time to attend multiple appointments to get the relief that they need.
  • Avoids the frustrations that can come with ill-fitting temporary crowns and protects against further damage.
  • The costs are comparable to that of traditional dental crowns.


  • Ceramic is weaker than metals and some porcelain, which means they can be worn or damaged easier than those other materials if not properly maintained.
  • Not every case will work with the same day process. For example, if a tooth fracture is located under the gumline, the intraoral camera may have trouble getting enough information.
  • There is a limited range of materials and features to choose from compared to traditional options.
  • Due to the machines' cost, not every office is going to have same day alternatives available.

How Long Do Same-Day Crowns Last?

A well-created same-day dental crown can last anywhere from five years to several decades. Several things, including those listed below, will determine the life of the crown:

  • The quality of ceramic used to mill it.
  • How experienced the dental professional is with the same day process.
  • Whether proper bonding techniques were adhered to or not.
  • If the placement is correct to match the bite.

Even when all of those possibilities are adequately handled, you still have to maintain your dental hygiene and schedule routine exams to ensure everything looks good. The best outcomes are brought about by people choosing dental offices with trusted professional that have a history of successfully using the CEREC method. They will be able to ensure that your smile stays healthy for years to come.

How Do Same-Day Crowns Look?

Most people find that same day dental crowns have a more natural look. Many other crowns have a metal center, which ends up darkening the tooth and making it stand out from the teeth around it. CEREC same-day crowns do not have this problem since they are ceramic all the way through, which lets them blend in quite nicely. During the image capture step of the process, the color of the teeth is recorded so that when the cap is being milled, it will reflect not only the correct shape but also a matching hue.

Steps of the Procedure

If you find yourself wondering, 'but how do same-day crowns work?' We have a walkthrough below of the entire prep and installation process:

Preparing the Tooth
Your dentist will check the tooth and get it cleaned and ready for the new crown. A local anesthetic will keep the area pain free while they remove any enamel and prepare the tooth for being scanned and fitted with a new dental crown. This involves shaving off some of the affected teeth to make room for the installation of the piece.

Scanning the Tooth
The dentist will compile 3D images using an intraoral camera to ensure they get the perfect look, shape, and color for the crown. This camera comes on a wand that is used to scan the relevant teeth.

Creating a 3D Model on the Computer
The images are used in CAD/CAM programs to construct a dental crown model on the computer. During this stage, the dentist will match your new crown with the natural color of your teeth as they were recorded on the images. Once everything looks good, the blueprints are sent to a milling unit where the dental crown will be created.

Carving the Ceramic
Rotary cutters are directed by a computer to carve out a perfect crown from a block of material. Digital images of the tooth can give a much cleaner, more precise pattern, meaning the finished piece will fit more seamlessly into place.

Inserting the New Dental Crown
The finished crown is then bonded to your tooth. There may be some residual numbness for a short time due to the anesthetic. However, after a mere two hours, you will have your smile back full of healthy, protected teeth.

How to Maintain Your Crowns

Like with any crown, these can be damaged if they are not adequately taken care of and maintained. For the most part, the CEREC method creates strong, long-lasting crowns. However, there are some bad habits you will want to avoid to keep these crowns in top shape so that they last for much longer. The following are some practical dos and don'ts.


Keep up proper dental hygiene, including brushing and flossing; otherwise, the natural enamel under the crown will decay. It is best to brush and floss twice a day at a minimum. Also, attend regular dental check-ups. The dental professional can recognize if a crown is coming loose or if there is an issue with the ceramic.


Clench your jaw or grind your teeth. If these are something you struggle with during the day or at night, then you can ask your dentist about possibly getting a mouthguard. Avoid chewing on hard things. This is especially difficult for fidgeters who like to chew on convenient objects. Try not to gnaw on pen caps, ice chips, fingernails, or anything else with a hard surface. Even quality dental materials can become damaged over time if they are maltreated.

Schedule Your Same-Day Crown Appointment With Dr. Cigno

For more information about CEREC dental crowns, call Cigno Family Dental today! Our friendly, skilled team will be there for you every step of the way!

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