Dental crowns can give you a smile you can be proud to show off!

Do you have a tooth with a large cavity, deep cracks, or serious wear? If so, you aren’t alone!

Over 90% of Americans between 20 and 64 years of age have some amount of tooth decay. While small cavities and chips can be fixed with a standard filling, more extensive damage needs a different approach. To prevent tooth loss and help you keep your natural smile, many restorative and cosmetic dentists in Plano, Texas, and around the nation will suggest getting a dental crown.

What are dental crowns, and how do you decide which type to get? To answer your questions, we’ll go over the basics and break down the pros and cons of two different types: lab-created and CEREC same day crowns.

What are dental crowns?

When a tooth has deep cracks, severe decay, or is worn down from grinding, there may not be a lot of healthy structure left after a dentist cleans out the injured area. Dental crowns—sometimes called dental caps—can prevent tooth loss and the need for extraction by replacing the missing structure, letting you keep the healthy root of your tooth intact. They fit snugly on top of the remaining part of your tooth and can correct bite problems, gaps, and sensitivity.

If you’ve already had an extraction or were missing a tooth for another reason, crowns can also fit on top of a dental implant to replace the tooth without the use of removable dentures.

Dental crowns also have a cosmetic benefit. If you had any visible cracks or cavities, they’ll restore your smile and make your teeth look like new again!

CEREC Same Day Crowns

CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic. It’s a relatively new type of dental treatment that uses computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) to make same day crowns.

The process of getting a CEREC dental crown begins when your dentist scans your mouth with 3D imaging software. This step replaces the plaster impression that traditional crowns are made from. The resulting image goes straight to a machine in the office that carves your crown out of a small ceramic block.

Once the machine is done, your dentist can prep your tooth and install the crown immediately. The entire procedure only takes a couple of hours, making it a perfect option if you have an event, interview, or performance coming up soon.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the CEREC crowns’ pros and cons to see if they’re right for you.


When it comes to saving time, it doesn’t get much better than one-day crowns, but there are other benefits to this method, too.

CEREC crowns often require less drilling to install, which means your overall recovery time could be shorter. The advanced 3D technology replicates teeth down to the tiniest detail, making for crowns that are nearly indistinguishable from the rest of your natural smile. What’s more, fewer total dental visits and less expensive materials can make this type of crown more cost-effective.


One of the main CEREC crown disadvantages is that they can only be made out of ceramic, which is less durable than other materials. If you tend to grind or clench your teeth, especially while sleeping, you could end up cracking the crown and needing a replacement. This is a larger concern when the affected tooth is a molar, as they bear the most stress during chewing and biting down.

CEREC scanning software is also limited in its ability to detect deep cracks in your teeth. If there are any fractures in your teeth that reach below the gumline, you might need to go with the traditional lab-created option.

High-Quality Lab-Created Crowns

Getting a traditional dental crown is a longer, more involved process that takes at least two separate visits to complete. At the first appointment, your dentist will take X-rays, remove any decayed or broken areas of your tooth, and take an impression of your teeth with plaster. They’ll then place a temporary crown over your tooth and send the impression off to a lab that will create the permanent crown.

Once the permanent crown is done, usually after a couple of weeks, you’ll come back for another appointment. Your dentist will then take off the temporary crown and replace it with the permanent one.


If durability is a major concern, lab-created crowns let you choose from stronger materials like metal and porcelain. They can handle larger amounts of stress without cracking, meaning you may be able to go longer without needing a replacement crown. This is also the preferred method for those who have deep fractures in their teeth, especially if they extend below the gums.

Lab-created crowns are handmade by experts, meaning you can count on them to be high quality. While CEREC crowns can match the shape of your previous tooth with ease, color-matching is often more accurate with lab-made porcelain.


The main downside to lab-created crowns is the waiting period.

You’ll have to schedule multiple appointments with your dentist and wear a temporary crown in between them. A temporary crown can be somewhat uncomfortable, and you may have to adjust your diet and chewing style to avoid damaging it. The installation process for a permanent crown is also more involved and requires the dentist to numb your mouth before the procedure.

If you choose a metal or porcelain crown, the initial cost may also be higher. Even so, it’s important to remember that you could save money in the long run by extending the life of your crown with durable materials.

Whichever type of dental crown you prefer, a cosmetic dentist in Plano, Texas, can help.

If you’ve been dealing with tooth decay, cracks, or wear, a dental crown could be the solution. Both lab-created and CEREC same day crowns have their benefits, so make sure to weigh the pros and cons of each to decide which is best for your situation. Be sure to talk with your dentist about both options if you need help making a choice.

Are you looking for a cosmetic dentist in Plano, Texas, or the surrounding area? If so, the experienced team at Millennium Dental can help. Contact us online or give us a call to book your appointment today.