Same-Day Crowns vs. Traditional Crowns

Dentist holding a model of teeth with dental restoration

A dental crown is a restorative dental treatment that uses a cap to cover the entire tooth surface to restore its appearance and strength. A crown reinforces a tooth damaged by decay, fracture, or wear and tear.

There are two main types of dental crowns: same-day crowns and traditional crowns. While both are effective restorative treatments, there are differences in the way they are fabricated, their longevity, and their aesthetics that are important to consider before you receive treatment.

What Are Traditional Crowns?

Traditional crowns restore broken teeth, protect weak teeth from further damage, or cover misshapen or discolored teeth. The crown is placed over the entire tooth, restoring its shape, size, and strength.

During a traditional crown procedure, your dentist removes a small 0.5 mm layer of enamel and grinds the tooth into a conical shape to accommodate the crown.

Your dentist takes impressions of your mouth using a dental tray and polyvinyl siloxane or alginate putty. These impressions are used to create a mold of the prepared tooth to send to an off-site dental lab. Your dentist also uses a color chart to determine the ideal tooth shade for the crown.

Your dentist may then fit you for a temporary acrylic crown to protect your tooth while you wait for your second appointment.

At the off-site dental lab, a technician fabricates your dental crown from materials specified by your dentist according to the location of the crown in the dental arch. Crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain, metal alloy, composite, and porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM). The process takes approximately two weeks.

At your follow-up appointment, your dentist removes the temporary crown, cleans the tooth, and cements the permanent crown using a strong adhesive.

What Are Same-Day Crowns?

While conventional crowns are still used in some cases, with advances in technology, it is now possible to get same-day crowns. Same-day crowns are made using CAD/CAM technology such as the PlanScan® system.

After the tooth is prepared, your dentist takes digital impressions of the tooth using an intraoral camera. These images and measurements are input into a software program that creates a computer-generated crown model.

The 3D model data is sent to an on-site e.Mill® system milling machine, where the crown is sculpted from a solid block of zirconia ceramic precisely color-matched to your natural teeth. The new crown is cemented onto your prepared tooth, and you can leave the dental office with a brand new smile in a single session.

Which Should You Get?

Same-day crowns are beneficial for busy people who don’t have time to come in for multiple appointments. They also offer the most realistic look, making them ideal for anterior teeth. However, same-day crowns are usually less durable than traditional crowns, lasting between 5 to 10 years.

Traditional crowns take longer to produce, but they are usually made from stronger materials that can last for many years; PFM crowns have been shown to last up to 50 years in some cases.

However, metal alloy and PFM crowns do not offer the same natural aesthetics as same-day zirconia crowns. The metal framework underneath the porcelain can give your tooth a gray appearance or become visible due to gum recession.

Schedule an Appointment for Crowns at Valley Dental Care

If you have damaged teeth that need repair, visit Valley Dental Care for a consultation to determine which type of dental crowns are the right option for your smile. We offer traditional and same-day dental crowns to meet your oral health needs and preferences.

Contact us today at our offices in Aurora (630) 892-2193 and Oswego (630) 551-7000 to arrange your appointment.