Are One Visit Crowns Better than Lab-Made Crowns?

February 4, 2014

As with all dental restorations and procedures, the right question may not be which type of crown is better, but which is better for you? Dental crowns made in an offsite lab by skilled technicians and those made in the office using CEREC technology both offer unique advantages and drawbacks that make them suitable for some cases but not for others. Use our guide to learn more about your dental crown options and trust your dentist to make the best recommendation for your needs.

What are One Visit Crowns?

Like the name implies, one visit crowns are porcelain, zirconia, or porcelain-zirconia mix dental crowns that your dentist designs and creates in the office over the course of a single appointment. A model of cutting-edge science and efficient design, the one visit crown placement process is surprisingly straightforward:

  • Your dentist prepares the tooth to be crowned and takes digital impressions of the tooth and the surrounding area.
  • He uploads these digital impressions to a computer and uses them to design your crown in a virtual environment.
  • Once the design is complete, the computer sends it to the milling machine where jets of highly pressurized water shape a block of porcelain to the specified dimensions.

After milling, your dentist can glaze and fire the crown to blend in better with your natural teeth. After assuring a good fit and making any adjustments himself, your dentist will bond the tooth in place.

CEREC technology has only just begun to pick up in popularity over the past ten years, so the amount of peer-reviewed literature and long term studies about the longevity and integrity of one visit crowns is limited.

What are Lab Made Crowns?

Dental prosthetics labs may be independent or affiliated with a given dental practice. Staffed by technicians with extensive training in the fabrication of crowns, bridges, dentures, and dental implant restorations, reputable dental labs offer a high level of customization and esthetics. With lab made crowns, you can expect to make at least two separate trips to the dentist’s office, one for taking impressions and another for fitting and placing the crown once it arrives from the lab. As the dental industry seeks to appeal to a growing emphasis on convenience, experts predict that dentists will begin using labs less and turn to in office one visit crowns more.

About Brad Greenfield, DDS

Dr. Brad Greenfield practices family, restorative, cosmetic, and sedation dentistry with a holistic approach to patient care and comfort. To schedule an appointment at our Lake Orion, MI dentist office, call (248) 693-6213. We proudly serve patients of all ages in Clarkston, Auburn Hills, Oxford, Rochester Hills, and neighboring communities.


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