A dental crown is a type of dental restoration that completely caps or encircles a tooth or dental implant. Crowns are frequently used to restore a tooth’s function and appearance following a root canal procedure, support a large filling when insufficient tooth structure remains, or protect a weak tooth from fracturing. They are also used to cover implants, attach bridges, or cover discolored or misshapen teeth.

While dental crowns are nothing new, the technology used to create them has come a long way. In the past, they made dental crowns utilizing a process known as lost wax casting. This process required multiple visits to the dentist and a waiting period while they made the crown in a dental lab.

With the advent of CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics), dental crowns can now be made in a single visit to the dentist. CEREC crowns are created using computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) technology.

So, which is better? CEREC crowns or traditional dental crowns? Let’s dive deep and explore the pros and cons of each to help you decide.

The Pros and Cons of Traditional Dental Crowns

Traditional dental crowns have been used for many years and are a tried-and-true option. They’re made off-site in a dental lab, so it usually takes two appointments to get the crown placed. The first appointment is intended to prepare the tooth and make impressions, and the second is to place the permanent crown. 

The dentist will make the dental crown between appointments using a cast of your tooth. This process could take a few weeks.

Traditional crowns are made of porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), a strong and durable material. However, because the metal is visible at the gum line, traditional crowns can sometimes have a dark line along the gums.

Traditional crowns are also less expensive than CEREC crowns. 

The Pros and Cons of CEREC Crowns

CEREC crowns are a newer option made using a digital scanner and are created in-office. Unlike traditional crowns, they can be done in just one appointment. 

CEREC crowns are made using CAD/CAM technology and are milled from a solid ceramic block, making them strong and durable. They can also be color-matched to your existing teeth for a more natural look. Because they’re all one piece, there’s no metal at the gum line, so they look more like your natural teeth.

Finally, CEREC crowns are more expensive than traditional dental crowns. However, because they are made from stronger material and can be created in just one visit, many people feel they are worth the extra cost.


Traditional crowns may be the way to go if you’re looking for a durable option and don’t mind having a metal line along your gums. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a more aesthetically-pleasing option and don’t mind spending a little extra, CEREC crowns may be the better choice. Both types of crowns effectively restore teeth, but CEREC crowns have advantages over traditional crowns. Ultimately, the best way to decide is to discuss these options with your dentist so they can recommend what’s best for your specific needs.

Do you want to find out if CEREC crowns are for you? Visit Pike District Smiles if you require a dentist in Rockville Pike, Bethesda, Kensington, Chevy Chase, Gaithersburg, or Potomac. Take advantage of our top-notch dental services for you and your family. Call us to schedule an appointment.