A dental crown is a cap made to cover a damaged tooth. To prepare for the crown, dentists drill to remove the decayed portion and shape the tooth for the crown. The average cost of a dental crown will often depend on the dentist and location; however, a traditional crown can cost $800 to $2,000, and take at least two visits and a wait in between while a lab makes the crown.

The CEREC systems, which cost dentists about $100,000 to $130,000, include a computer that takes digital images of the damaged tooth, software to design the crown, and a milling machine. This is where the new technology that improves dental crown procedures becomes so valuable.

The process starts with the dentist using a wand with a camera on the end that uses reflected light to create a three-dimensional picture of the tooth and adjacent teeth. The software suggests a design for the crown, which the dentist can tweak. A mouse click sends the design to the milling machine, which sculpts the tooth from a small block of ceramic.

Read what Dr. Jason Harvey has to say about CEREC Crowns.

Teeth aren’t a single colour, dentists say, but yellowish at the gum line with gradually changing color until they become nearly translucent. In the one-day process, dentists can simulate this effect by painting on colours with tiny brushes. CEREC is the unique CAD/CAM system for all-ceramic restorations in one single appointment. CEREC quickly and safely produces the desired results for patients in need of crowns.

Varieties of Dental Crowns:

Traditional crowns and inlays are made in laboratories using a centuries-old lost wax technique with cast metal and sometimes a layer of porcelain on top. Although, for many years, dental offices have been using all-ceramic restorations. The current technology to produce these is mainly CAD/CAM, an acronym for computer aided design/computer aided manufacture.

Patients with fillings will often exhibit amalgam breakdowns and damage to the tooth structure as recurrent decay creates stress fractures on the enamel. Unlike most laboratory-created crowns, CEREC inlay restorations stabilize the integrity of the tooth. CEREC materials ensure maximum bond strength and enhance appearance, resulting in your desired smile. CEREC inlay restorations form a smooth, tooth-colored replacement of dental material lost to cavities. Using ultramodern CAD/CAM technology, CEREC inlays mimic your tooth’s color and structure exactly.

The Future of Crowns is Now

To meet the individual needs of more patients, CEREC has expanded their product range to include two camera solutions, and three different milling units, making it even easier for dentists make the right decision for their patients’ treatment.

This technology continues to evolve and improve at an amazing rate. The next big step is likely to be the mainstream integration of optical impressions (again, taken digitally with a camera or scanner) to replace the typical models taken with impression material.

Whatever the future holds, you can be sure that dentists will investigate each new development, and bring in those technologies when they feel that they will improve the health and care of their clients.

Here are a few facts about CEREC dentistry:

  • The most used dental CAD/CAM system worldwide
  • 30 years of successful continuous development
  • Over 28 million restorations placed
  • More than 250 scientific studies documenting clinical security
  • Proven long-term survival rate of 95%


It is important to note that dentists normally don’t charge more for a one-day crown than a traditional crown partly because the machine saves on lab costs. CEREC crowns are generally covered by dental insurance that covers traditional crowns.

Several studies show restorations made using the computer-assisted systems fit well and have good longevity, particularly compared to lab-made crowns made in dentists’ office.

We also offer adult braces for straight teeth at any age.

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