Same-Day vs Traditional Dental Crowns By Joe McIntyre, DDS on September 08, 2021

Two dental crowns on black surface with “CEREC Same-Day Crowns” text aboveA dental crown is a custom-made cap that restores a decayed or damaged tooth. It can also replace a missing tooth when paired with a dental implant. Many dentists only offer traditional dental crowns that can take up to two weeks to be crafted in a lab and shipped to the dentist. Some dentists also offer same-day dental crowns, which can be made in as little as 30 minutes.

At Smiles for Life Dental Care, serving patients from Harrisonburg, VA, and surrounding areas from our Bridgewater, VA, and Staunton, VA offices, we offer both options to patients with various needs. Drs. Joe McIntyre, Dan Whiting, and Philipp Luschin can guide you to the best option when it comes to choosing between a same-day crown or a traditional dental crown. 

Same-day crowns and lab-crafted dental crowns differ in the following ways: 


Same-day dental crowns are crafted using CAD/CAM (computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing) or CEREC® (chairside economical restoration of esthetic ceramics) technology. The dentist uploads digital images of the tooth and jaw to the machine, designs a custom crown, and then the CEREC machine immediately creates it from a block of dental-grade porcelain. 

Traditional dental crowns require the dentist to take impressions or pictures of your mouth and send them to a dental lab where a technician handcrafts the crown from your preferred material. 

Treatment Time

Because of the different methods used to create the crowns, the treatment time is significantly different. 

For same-day crowns, patients can leave the office within two hours of arriving with their new, permanent crown in place. 

Traditional crowns require two separate appointments, usually about two weeks apart. During those two weeks, patients wear a temporary crown to protect their prepared teeth. 


One of the greatest benefits of CEREC same-day crowns is that the treatment cost may be reduced. This is because patients don’t require temporary crowns or multiple appointments.

The cost of a traditional, custom crown depends largely on the material that is used. Metal crowns are a less expensive option, while all-porcelain crowns are more expensive.


Same-day crowns are best placed on the teeth in the back of the mouth, while traditional crowns work best for patients who are covering a more visible tooth. 

CEREC dental crowns are strong and durable, but may not look as realistic as a traditional crown that is made in a lab. 

Because traditional crowns are handcrafted from the most natural-looking materials, they are more aesthetically pleasing. Therefore, patients prefer traditional, all-porcelain crowns when a tooth in the “smile zone” needs a crown.

Learn Which Option Is Best for You

If you need a dental crown for a broken, decayed, or missing tooth, our team at Smiles for Life Dental Care can help. We offer both same-day crowns and traditional dental crowns. Our doctors are happy to discuss your options to determine which type of crown is best for your smile. Contact our office today at (540) 887-3304 or message us online to schedule a consultation. 

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Dentists at Smiles for Life Dental Care

Smiles for Life Dental Care

The team of highly trained doctors at Smiles for Life wants to help you achieve and maintain a healthy smile for a lifetime. Because we want every patient to have access to the advanced treatments offered at our practice, we accept many insurance and financing options, including: 

  • Medicare 
  • Compassionate Finance™
  • CareCredit®
  • LendingClub®
  • Smile Rewards 

To get started, call our Bridgewater office at (540) 828-2312 or request an appointment online.

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