Our dental crown page is one of the most comprehensive pages on dental crowns you will find. For ease of use please use the quick search navigator. For ease, we have split the page up into one section on cerec crowns and a more general sections on what a dental crown is, the types of dental crowns available and of course dental crown costs.
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Want some general information about what a dental crown is? what materials are available to you? The different procedures and services available and the cost of dental crowns? Just click on the link below to go straight there
CEREC is an acronym for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, also generally known as CERamic REConstruction. Fancy terms aside... what does that mean?
Basically the cerec uses computer design and manufacturing with a mill to quickly take impressions of your mouth using a scanner, then generate a customised and computer manufactured dental crown with a milling machine that we keep at the dental clinic.
Thus when it comes to dental crowns, we are able to bypass the step of manually making impressions using molds and then sending away those molds with the notes from the dentist to the laboratory, when traditionally, the laboratory would do this work. All this work on your dental crown can be done very quickly... within one day! This obviously gives the patient a huge advantage in time saved at the dentist, plus adding the accuracy of the new scanning technology when scanning and making the dental crown.
Cerec Dentistry give the dentist the ability to mill a dental crown at the dental clinic
Cerec in Dentistry
The cerec machine has transformed many areas of dentistry, making it possible to have all your treatment at the dental clinic, rather than taking impressions, then sending them to the lab. By using CAD/CAM technology (Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacting) the CEREC can aid to fabricate
Inlays and Onlays
See the video below for a look at the fastest way to get a beautiful smile, with only one visit to the dentist with cerec crowns.
A cerec dental crown is able to be completed in one day with the scanning and milling cerec machine
Cerec ceramic fillings - saving your tooth from a dental crown!
One of the main reasons Dentista have invested in the CEREC is to provide our patients with a better treatment option to a full dental crown. Thats right... having this dental crown machine can actually help you avoid having to have a dental crown. So how can this be?
The answer is through a ceramic filling! The name given to ceramic fillings in dentistry is onlays or inlays. They fall under the 'major dental' category of health insurance.
While your normal white fillings are excellent, we must not forget that at the end of the day they're PLASTIC and have their limitations. If you have a very LARGE WHITE FILLING, (bigger than half your tooth) then the white filling will experience a lot of bending. There can be problems with staining or breaking of the filling, and NEW DECAY getting in under the white filling (where it bends at the seam where it meets the tooth). Even worse are the older style amalgam fillings which are much more likely to get decay underneath the filling and develop large cracks.
In these cases, a full dental crown (which requires all surfaces of the tooth to be shaved down), means a lot of healthy tooth is unnecessarily removed.
The cerec provides us with an opportunity to do CERAMIC FILLINGS. This means you have a restoration that is much stronger than the white plastic fillings, lasts much longer, and doesn't remove any healthy structure unnecessarily like a dental crown would.
You may be wondering why ceramic fillings weren't offered with traditional treatment before the days of CEREC dentistry (2 appointment with the dentist and the sending of the materials off to the laboratory). Well... they were, however all you need to do is ask any one who's had them and they're a 'bugger' to have the temporary - which often falls off! This means dentists are reluctant to offer them because the temporaries are a headache for the patient and for the dentist!
The cerec eliminates the need for a temporary, which allows you to have a better outcome! The cost of a ceramic filling is more then a white filling, you are getting a better quality restoration. Depending on your private health insurance this may be a few hundred dollars. A good dentist will never want to over treat a patient, and the cerec technologies enables the patient to be able to keep more of their own tooth. Thus you may be better with a ceramic filling rather than a full dental crown. At the end of the day, there is nothing in dentistry that is as good or as strong as your own enamel. Be aware that a dental clinic that doesn't have cerec technology wouldn't be able to offer this and you would end up with a dental crown... keeping less of your natural tooth.
Cerec Dental Crown Materials
The CEREC uses both porcelain and zirconia as its main materials for cerec crowns /dental crowns and ceramic fillings.
Ceramic: these are the most common material for a dental crown. The dental crown can be 'bonded' strongly onto your tooth, they generally look the nicest too because they can mimic the 'lifelike' translucency of natural teeth. A ceramic dental crown can be one colour with surface staining, or layered with different colours of ceramic
Zirconia Ceramic: Zirconium Dioxide is a white powdered metal oxide. It is also a ceramic. This material for a dental crown is very strong. A zirconia dental crown can be layered with different colours of ceramic as well.
Dental Crowns using the Cerec Scanner
The scanner used for dental crowns is called the Cerec Primescan. It is an inter oral scanner meaning that it is placed inside the mouth where it completes a scan of the mouth. The scanner can deal with steep angles, hard to reach places and all types of surfaces. Then it can instantly display this to the computer for analysing and assessing. The scanner will display a total 3D image on the computer to which the dentist can see all angles and have a complete idea of what is happening to the teeth and where the dental crown or other treatment is needed. Its a big part of the reason the dentist is able to complete a 'cerec crown' or dental crown in just one visit
Picture of the CEREC machine used for a dental crown
Picture of the Primescan scanner plus generated image
Are Cerec Crowns as Good as Traditional Dental Crowns
So... does the new technology stack up? Is it a case that cerec crowns treatment is quicker but you sacrifice quality or strength as a result? For most patients, the answer is a resounding no! Generally dental crowns that use the cerec, whilst giving a time advantage, also are alot more accurate and precise. Thus if you have a good dentist, you can get a much better result and a better fit of your dental crown using the cerec crown than you can with traditional dental crown placement methods. We will compare the two dental crown methods below...
Cerec Crowns vs Traditional Crowns
Benefits of Same Day Dental Crowns
The benefits of using Cerec crowns or same day dental crown technology in dentistry include:
Treatment that generally would have required multiple treatments, can now be completed in a single appointment - ie same day crowns.
Due to the scanning and milling technology, the accuracy of the completed milled fabricated products for your dental crown is very high. This allows for more precision and control by the dentist and generally can achieve better resulting dental crown as a consequence.
The cerec dental crown eliminates the need for temporary treatment. Many procedures in dentistry using traditional dental crown methods will require 2 or 3 trips to the surgery. In the meantime, temporary treatment and solutions need to be placed for the patient to carry on with normal biting and chewing activities. Often temporary solutions, by their very nature, can be quite inconvenient, suffering issues such as breaks, cracks and difficulty keeping the area clean. On top of this many people comment how temporary crowns look horrible. The use of cerec dental crowns and one day crowns treatment eliminates the need for any temporary solutions and with it, the problems associated with that treatment.
Same Day Dental Crown Disadvantages
There can be cerec crown or same day crown disadvantages however, and these should be considered
The dental work that is generally performed by the lab is now done by the dentist. Training and using the specialised equipment has to be done so by a competent dentist and by a team who is up to date with the latest in both technology and treatment. Perhaps the saying 'all the gear and no idea' may come to mind? Cerec dentistry and cerec crowns can be absolutely fantastic in terms of accuracy of the dental crown, time savings to the patient and be much less invasive than traditional dental crowns but if the dentist is not competent in using the technology, such as the primescan and the milling system, if they can't accurately determine the findings or cannot translate this into accurate and cosmetically pleasing dental crowns then this can definitely be seen as disadvantages of cerec crowns and is not be the best option for a patient. In this case, giving the moulds and impressions to a trained lab technician such as the traditional way of placing dental crowns would be a much better and conservative option for the patient.
Dentista Dental Centre has always been at the forefront of technology in the industry. We were also the first provider of the new way to perform scale and cleans with the EMS Airflow! Master to the Morley and Noranda area. We also provide the new Zoom in chair whitening technology for our teeth whitening treatment. At Dentista, we have had a dental clinic at Camboon Roaad Noranda since 1992! The dentists have all been trained at the University of Western Australia and have gone on to do either masters or GIDE cosmetic training both in Australia and Internationally. To find out more about our dentists, Please see our pages for Dr Carla Graneri, Dr Ellie Knight, Dr Saul Todres or Dr Paul Mueller.
Other same day crowns / cerec crowns disadvantages can be to do with how the crowns are made, you may be limited in the choice of materials that can be used. While this wont be an issue for 90% of patients, those who may want materials such as gold or another base metal alloy would have to still use the traditional methods of crown placement.
Disadvantages of cerec crowns also include some complex cases which involve fractures below the gum, in this instance a traditional crown is recommended over the Cerec.
Cerec crowns for front teeth is case by case dependent. The colour demands of front teeth occasionally require combinations and layering of ceramics, which is better performed by a lab technician.
How much do cerec crowns cost
The cerec prime scan cost with extra convenience and comfort of a same day dental crown/cerec crown comes at No Extra Cost to You!
Having both a scanning system and milling machine (CAD/CAM) on our premises, we can essentially cut out the middlemen such as the dental laboratory and the associated fees and time that go along with a traditional dental crown. Other procedures such as the fabrication and placement of a temporary crown, and the associated follow up appointments with the dentist, are all a thing of the past with cerec dentistry. All this translates to lower cost with the cerec primescan cost dental crown than would be the case with a traditional dental crown.
Currently. the cost of a CEREC dental crown in Perth, WA starts from approximately $1350*. To see further detail for the cerec primescan cost please visit this page. This price of course will also depend on the complexity of the case, the number of teeth affected, etc but this will be the starting price. Of course we accept all private health funds and we are a HBF plus dentist or a HBF preferred dentist. For a more comprehensive look into how your health cover will work for dental crown treatment, please see our page on this here
For those patients who may wish to use a payment program, we accept Afterpay. Afterpay is easy to use and generally can be used on smaller treatments such as a dental crown without too much paperwork or fuss. For larger payment plans and options we also are affiliated with Humm. Humm is another payment option that can be used for larger treatment procedures, such as multiple dental crowns, dental bridges or smile makeovers.
Cerec Milling Machine Cost
So how much does a cerec machine cost? They aren't cheap! A new cerec machine costs $250.000. Why so much? Well the cerec machine itself is a professional milling machine with state of the art CAD design technology. Be warned, not all milling machines are created equal, and not all dental practices will have a cerec. Like many other products there are cheaper and inferior products that are out there. Dentista Dental Centre has the real deal, the brand new cerec. The cerec has also been around the longest and has a well earned reputation for being the best on the market. The reason for this is three fold
Support and After Care.
The cerec machine is complex and requires skilled technicians who have been trained in the machine and have the relevant skills and experience to operate the equipment. The cerec brand is known as the industry standard, and most training, education and tools is aimed at the cerec brand.
Training and technicians
Its no use if the dental clinic purchases a scanning and milling machine that is obscure, cheap, unreliable and worse inaccurate, which unfortunately can be the case with some cheaper brands. The other factor in training is that most dentists that are trained in dentistry that involves same day dental crowns, do so using the cerec machine and cerec technology. The cerec brand is known to be much more intuitive and user friendly than are other brands.
Market leader and Trustworthy Brand
The CEREC brand and cerec machine has actually been around since all the way back to 1983. The company Sirona dental systems first put out unit 1. Of course, technology wasn't what it is today and it hasn't really been until the last decade when it became viable, reliable and accurate enough for cerec dentistry to really become at the forefront of dentistry and dental crown technology. Throughout this time however, cerec has slowly but surely improved itself with every update until now it has a reliable, accurate and intuitive product that can be competently and reliably be used through trained and experienced dentists. In fact now, one of the advantages of cerec dentistry is that a trained and experienced dentist can mill the dental crown to exactly the specifications that they want. There is always the risk or potential problem with traditional dental crowns, that when they get sent to the laboratory, the lab technician does not know or see to the same extent, what the dentist is trying to achieve with the dental crown, and thus there may be slight differences in what actually gets made in the lab to what the dentist has envisaged for the dental crown.
So that's all well and good, but do you actually know what a dental crown is? What your options are in terms of materials and the advantages and disadvantages that come with these? Below is more general and informative aspects of dental crowns. We have all the sections linked below so you can jump to the relevant part.
What is a Dental Crown
What is a dental crown on a tooth? A dental crown, also known as a dental cap or a tooth cap, is a dental restoration in which a foreign material completely covers a tooth. For a dental crown, you don't need to have any of your own tooth enamel however as in place of this you can have a dental implant. Watch the video below to see this in action.
Attaching a dental crown to a dental implant
So a dental crown must completely encircle the tooth or as shown above, the dental implant. The dental crown then needs to be 'bonded' either to the tooth or the implant. Bonded basically means how we get the dental crown to 'stick' to either the tooth or the dental implant. Generally we do this with dental cement. There are many different types of dental cement but all you need to know is that
they don't cause irritation
they are resistant to salivas and other fluids found in the oral cavity
they have very high resistance to stressors in terms of shearing, tension and compression where the action tends to happen (the join)
they have great aesthetics
resist chemical and thermal substances
they have very low film thickness
Generally dental crowns are needed or advised when either the structure of the tooth is threatened (such as when there is a large cavity), or when the patient wants a aesthetical or functional improvement in the way their smile looks or bite works.
Below is a picture of a dental crown. You can see that the tooth is shaved down on all sides and that the dental crown fits on the tooth like a 'tooth cap'.
The above picture shows a tooth that has been shaved, with a dental crown placed on top
Dental Crown Materials Available
There are many different dental crown types for which to choose from. Depending on whether you want cerec dentistry for same day crowns, then you will be limited in what materials you can choose. The materials that you select will also differ depending whether you need front dental crowns or a standard molar dental crowns. Generally, the materials fall under 2 categories; ceramics and metals. Of course you can use a combination of both.
We throw the term about quite a bit... so what is a ceramic material first of all. A ceramic is a non metalic substance that has the properties of being hard, brittle, heat resistant and corrosion resistant. The pictures below give you a common example of a ceramic pot (first picture) which in this case is ceramic porcelain. The picture next to this image should be a common one of traditional ceramic material being moulded into a pot. It's not just clay however but other non metal materials such as earthenware and brick. To make this hard non metalic material from the clay material on the right, the clay is fired (cooked or baked) which then turn the material into a ceramic.
Now that we understand the term ceramics, we can see that a ceramic crown in dentistry is just a hard, non metallic material that is then bonded (stuck onto, adhesively) onto either a tooth or an implant. So a ceramic tooth cap or a ceramic dental crown is just a artificial material (a ceramic) that is put onto your natural tooth.
In dentistry, we tend to use either zirconia or porcelain, and each have their advantages and disadvantages. Of course you can also use a combination of both materials, or even use a metallic substance and a ceramic substance in order to gain the advantages of both. The other thing to keep in mind is that with the ceramic materials, we can manufacture your dental crown using the cerec and thus you can have same day dental crowns when you use ceramic material. Generally, ceramic materials have a more natural and aesthetically pleasing look and with porcelain crowns, we can closely match the tooth's natural look. Lets take a look at zirconia and porcelain in terms of ceramic dentistry and see the pros and cons of both.
A zirconia crown or zirconia cap can also be made with cerec dentistry so that you can have a same day dental crown with zirconia teeth/material. Zirconia as a material for dental crowns has certain advantages and disadvantages which should be taken into account if it's the material you would like for your zirconium dental crown.
The main advantage of zirconia in zirconia dental crowns is its strength and durability. Zirconia is extremely strong and can withstand the sometimes huge pressure that teeth, especially the molars are put under with certain foods with the action of chewing. After all these molar teeth need to be functional. The durability, not surprisingly as they are so strong is very good. Zirconia dental crowns can last easily 10-15 years and with correct dental hygiene and check ups, they can last much much longer than that. A second advantage of zirconia dental crowns are that the material has excellent biocompatibility. This means that your mouth and body are more likely to accept the material and not introduce an immune response, resulting in inflammation. To learn more about this subject, we have a blog post on the gums and inflammation.
Zirconia teeth and zirconia dental crowns do come with disadvantages however. Zirconia has an opaque appearance so it doesn't look as natural as other materials such as porcelain dental crowns. Obviously this is less of an issue if the zirconia dental crown is going on a back tooth such as a molar. A second disadvantage using zirconia dental crowns are that they can actually cause damage to the enamel of neighbouring teeth.
Zirconium porcelain crowns are an option for patients which can combine the strength advantage of zirconia with the aesthetic advantage of porcelain (we will discuss this next). Thus the supporting structure of the dental crown is the very strong and durable zirconia, then we add a layer of porcelain which gives the zirconia tooth a more natural and colour matched appearance. Zirconia crown vs ceramic crown has generally been a strength and durability vs aesthetics question but we can combine the two materials for a best of both worlds type case.
Porcelain in dentistry has a lot of features that are beneficial for us. Its thermal expansion are very similar to your teeth's natural enamel and dentine which are in tooth. This is good for dental crown placement, as one of the issues, that has been mentioned previously is that we need to shave down a tooth when making a dental crown and part of that is leaving a margin between each tooth. When using porcelain, we can be assured that this factor is less likely to come into play. The strength of porcelain is high as well which is great for dental crowns and the chewing that functionally they will need to help with. Finally of course there is the aesthetic factors which are great with porcelain. Porcelain teeth are very similar in appearance to normal teeth and thus we can achieve a very natural and pleasing look with porcelain. Added to this full porcelain dental crowns over the teeth are stable in their aesthetic look over time and wont look degraded. Porcelain dental crowns for front teeth are an excellent option for all the reasons listed and cerec porcelain dental crowns are an option thus giving you the advantage of having a same day dental crown.
Like everything however there are disadvantages to porcelain crowns. The tensile strength of porcelain as a material is very low (tensile strength is the resistance of a material to breaking down when tension is applied to it. One choice is to use full crown veneers, which uses metal, thus combining the strength of metal with the aesthetics of porcelain. We tend to not use this option now days. A better option is to use reinforced ceramic core systems which instead of using a metal for tensile support, uses another ceramic material with a higher tensile strength to support the porcelain. A third option involves a resin bond (bond is how we 'stick' the dental crown to the tooth). So thinking about this, we are using the tooth itself for the supporting structure and then we bond the porcelain to the tooth with the resin. Thus we can overcome the structual difficulties of porcelain whilst still getting that good and natural aesthetic look.
The gold crown or gold tooth cap is the original dental replacement for a tooth. There are many reasons someone may want a gold dental crown, but these days it is for those patients who want a certain look or aesthetic. Generally a gold dental crown will be made up of a gold alloy so as to give the structure strength. The gold crown is often combined with palladium, nickel or chromium. A secondary advantage of this besides the strength increase is of course the savings from reducing the amount of gold that is in the tooth cap. Other advantages not including the unique look of a gold crown include that they are very durable, hardly ever chip or break and that they require a minimum amount of tooth shaving needing to occur. A gold dental crown can thus last for decades.
As per other types of dental crowns, the gold crown can be mixed with porcelain crowns in order to achieve the combination of the strong a durable base, combined with the aesthetics of porcelain. It should be stated though that the gold colour does often come through still even when combined with porcelain, so it is not recommended for those patients looking for a natural look.
There are some other disadvantages of a gold crown however which can include gum irritation and inflammation, reactions of the metals with some people, occasionally there can be some swelling and redness and even lesions in the mouth.
So one of the advantages of cerec dentistry and cerec dental crowns is that there is no more requirements for a temporary dental crown. A temporary dental crown is a dental crown that is put in by the dentist whilst your tooth is milled at a laboratory. As generally for both aesthetic and functional reasons, you require a working tooth, a temporary dental crown is placed in the patients mouth until the permanent dental crown/final restoration can be inserted.
temporary crown material, normally is made from acrylic resins or composite (temporary dental cement). The temporary dental crown cement offers some important functions such as protection of the actual tooth, the prevention of the teeth moving, prevent sensitivity of the tooth, keep the gum and surrounding tissue in shape correctly and of course to provide a temporary cosmetically acceptable tooth whilst the patient is waiting for the permanent dental crown. Whilst we wouldn't say temporary crowns look horrible, the fact is that cosmetically they don't match the look and feel of a more permanent solution such as a porcelain crown. There is no comparison between a temporary crown vs permanent dental crown in terms of aesthetics. This of course is especially the case for anterior teeth (front teeth).
Dental Crown and Bridge
A dental crown and bridge is used when you have multiple teeth in a row which need to be restored. A dental crown bridge is where the two teeth on either side are given a dental crown and then the middle tooth is then 'bridged' between the crowns. The picture below explains this best. The picture shows a dental crown and bridge where the teeth on both sides have been shaved down and a tooth cap or dental crown placed over the top. The middle tooth that is the bridge is known as a pontic tooth. A dental crown and bridge can be made with the cerec if porcelain dental crowns or zirconia materials are selected. Dental crowns and bridges are good ways to effectively restore molars of your teeth. If you do not have any teeth then it's also possible to use dental implant crowns and have that bridged. Once a bridge has been cemented into position between the dental crown bridge, it will look and work just like your natural teeth. A dental crown and bridge if looked after can last many years, normally between 7 and 15, but with regular dental check ups and good oral hygiene, they can last much much longer., crowns and bridges are good alternatives and more permanent options to dentures.
A diagram of a crown and bridge
Dental Crowns vs veneers
Crowns vs Veneers are an important consideration if you are not familiar with the terms. We discuss the differences in detail on our cosmetic dentistry page. We also have a blog that goes into detail about dental crowns vs veneers and which may be right for you. Please consider having a look and read on this page if you are considering one vs the other. Basically however, the major difference between veneers and dental crowns are how much of the tooth is shaved down and how much the tooth cap covers. Veneers generally only cover the front or cosmetic part of the tooth and thus most of your tooth is kept as your own, with only the front visible part of the tooth shaved down. In contrast with dental crowns vs veneers with respect to dental crowns, is that the tooth cap goes over the entire tooth. Thus more of your tooth is shaved down, and the tooth is shaved down on all sides. The tooth cap or dental crown then goes over the top. There are many reasons why you would choose one over the other and if you would like to know more about these reasons then please see our blog post and cosmetic page as mentioned earlier. Below however, shows you the basic difference visually of crowns vs veneers. Both veneers and dental crowns can be made and placed with cerec dentistry, same day crowns and same day veneers.
Crowns vs Veneers
Dental Crown Cost
As stated above, Dentista Dental does not charge any extra to you for choosing the new technology with dental crowns, the cerec crown. That also goes the other way that we will not increase the price or charge extra if you wish to have a traditional dental crown rather than a cerec crown.. where you will receive a temporary dental crown whilst the impressions that we take are sent off to the laboratory to be milled. The choice is yours and there are some reasons that you may wish to have traditional crown vs a cerec crown. The cerec cannot place some materials such as a gold crown or silver crown, and there may be reasons that the patient would be best served by choosing one of these materials or even composite (plastic).