Traditional vs Same-Day Dental Crowns

There are many different types of dental crowns available to restore decayed or damaged teeth. While traditional crowns are fabricated in a lab, same-day crowns are made chairside while you wait.

What are the pros and cons of these restorations? How do CEREC® one-visit crowns compare to their conventional counterparts? Here, our Salinas, CA team explores traditional vs same-day crowns so our patients can be well-informed about their treatment options.

CEREC One-Visit Crowns

CEREC technology makes it possible to fabricate custom restorations in just one office visit. Let’s take a look at this process in a little more detail.

Treatment Process

When you arrive for your same-day crown, Dr. Cureton prepares the affected tooth by removing small amounts of enamel. After the tooth is prepared, digital impressions are taken with our CEREC digital handheld wand. This device captures thousands of images of your tooth and gums, then uploads them to our advanced software.

Next, Dr. Cureton uses the software to fine tune your crown, ensuring that it fits in with your bite and matches the shade of the neighboring teeth. Finally, these images are sent to our in-house milling machine. There, your crown is carved from a solid block of medical-grade ceramic.


The most obvious benefit of same-day crowns is that you receive your final restoration immediately instead of having to wait for a lab technician to fabricate it. CEREC one-visit crowns also eliminate the need for a temporary, saving you time and money.


Same-day crowns are typically made from an all-ceramic material. While this is ideal for most cases, there may be instances in which patients require stronger restorations. For example, when restoring a molar, a porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crown may be more suitable because that area of the mouth withstands excessive chewing forces.

Traditional Dental Crowns

Before CEREC technology existed, crowns were made using the traditional method. In the section below, we’ll explore that process more.

Treatment Process

After the tooth is prepared, impressions are taken. But instead of sending them to our software, we send them to a dental laboratory. There, a skilled technician crafts your restoration according to Dr. Cureton’s specific guidelines.

The fabrication process can take anywhere from two to four weeks in most cases. Once that step is complete, your new crown is delivered to our office, where we will schedule you for a second appointment. At that time, Dr. Cureton bonds your new crown into place.


In some instances, traditional crowns are recommended over same-day crowns. For example, if you have a particularly complex case or specific requirements, Dr. Cureton may suggest a traditional restoration. Furthermore, if your crown requires a metal substructure for added strength, then it will need to be made in a lab.


As you might guess, the primary disadvantage of traditional crowns is that they take longer to make. These restorations require at least two appointments instead of one. However, most patients agree the extra visit is well worth it to achieve the desired outcome.

Schedule a Dental Crown Consultation Today

How can you know which type of crown is right for you? Schedule an appointment with Dr. Cureton at our Salinas, CA dental practice. During your initial consultation, we can discuss your treatment options in detail. Contact us online or give us a call at (831) 449-8363.

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