CEREC Crowns Vs Traditional Crowns

CEREC Crowns Vs Traditional Crowns

Kerwin Street Dental in Cairns weigh-ups CEREC crowns vs traditional crowns, with an explanation of the pros and cons of each.

Imagine taking your usual evening walk, when you accidentally trip on a shoelace that had, unbeknown to you, come undone. Unfortunately, you chip your front tooth. After the initial shock and panic, you ring up your dentist, who informs you of the various procedures that can be done to fix your tooth. One such option is having either a traditional or CEREC crown fitted.

What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is an artificial “cap” in the shape of a tooth, that is fitted over a tooth to restore structure, functionality and aesthetics. Dental crowns can thus be used for a number of dental problems:

  1. To cover and protect your tooth after a root canal;
  2. To restore a cracked or broken tooth, and to improve its appearance;
  3. As a protective covering for a weak tooth which has large fillings or faces the possibility of sustaining fractures or breaks;
  4. To cover a dental implant;
  5. As a covering for anchor teeth that are used to support a dental bridge;
  6. To cover a tooth that is resistant to whitening treatments;
  7. To cover a crooked tooth.

There are two kinds of crowns: CEREC crowns and traditional crowns.

How are traditional crowns made?

Traditional crowns are fabricated at a dental laboratory and may take a few weeks to be made, requiring you to use a temporary crown in the interim. Traditional crowns can be made from either metal, porcelain fused to metal, all porcelain or resin.

During your initial appointment, your dentist will:

  1. Numb your tooth and the tissue surrounding the tooth;
  2. Trim away a certain amount of tooth structure from all sides, giving the tooth a tapered form to allow the crown to fit properly over the tooth;
  3. Take an impression using a putty-like material, or an intraoral scanner which will take a digital impression of the tooth;
  4. Send the impression off to a dental laboratory;
  5. Place a temporary crown (made out of plastic or metal) over your tooth, using “temporary” cement to hold it in place.

Once your crown is ready, your dentist will call you in for a second appointment to replace the temporary crown with the newly-fabricated one.

How are CEREC crowns made?

Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics (CEREC) is a dental device that allows a dental crown to be constructed in a single visit. During your dental appointment, your tooth will be prepared, which is something that is necessary for both traditional and CEREC crowns. Thereafter, your dentist will:

  1. Take a digital impression/ image of your tooth using an intraoral camera;
  2. Send the image to the processor which will create a model of your tooth;
  3. Use this technologically-generated model to construct the CEREC crown on the screen;
  4. Send the construction to an in-house milling machine which will then construct the crown out of a ceramic or resin block;
  5. Paint, polish and glaze the CEREC crown to make it look as natural as possible;
  6. Place the CEREC crown over your tooth, fixing it in place with dental cement.

The pros and cons of traditional crowns


  • All-porcelain crowns have a more aesthetically-pleasing look than CEREC crowns.


  • If an impression of the traditional crown is taken using the putty-like material, the accuracy of the constructed crown is dependant on a number of factors such as: the quality of the impression material used, the amount of saliva in your mouth at the time the impression was taken, the skill of the dental assistant taking the impression and, of course, the skill of the dental technician creating the crown.
  • Traditional crowns require two appointments.
  • A temporary crown is required, which isn’t very comfortable and imposes dietary restrictions.

The pros and cons of CEREC crowns


  • Doesn’t require the use of a temporary crown.
  • Restores tooth functionality immediately after a single dental appointment.
  • Offers a more viable option for people who suffer with dental anxiety and dental phobia.
  • Saves valuable time.
  • No risk of dental injury that may occur when a temporary dental crown comes loose.


  • The aesthetics of a CEREC crown is highly dependent on the dentist’s skill and attention to detail.
  • The fitting process can take a bit of time.

Dental Crown Cairns

At Kerwin Street Dental, here in Cairns, we have the CEREC technology necessary to construct your CEREC crown in just a single dental visit! No need for temporary crowns. No need to wait a few weeks for your traditional crown to be constructed.

If you’re looking to restore the aesthetics and functionality of a damaged, chipped, or broken tooth – give us a call!

Book an appointment now

Call (07) 4031 2134


Contact Details

1 Kerwin Street, Cairns QLD 4870

(07) 4031 2134

Opening Hours

Monday - Thursday 9am to 5:30pm
Friday 9am to 4:00pm

Areas we service

North Cairns




Central Cairns


Cairns CBD