Dr. Rich Higgs, DDSFree Consultation

CEREC Dental Crowns, Inlays & Onlays

Chandler Dentist - Cerec dental crown fabrication

What is CEREC technology?

CEREC one visit porcelain crowns, inlays, and onlays are dental restorations designed to strengthen a tooth which has been weakened due to decay, fracture, broken or failing filling, or root canal treatment.

These restorations are traditionally done in two visits. At the first visit, the dentist prepares the tooth by removing the failing tooth structure or filling, preparing the tooth to make room for the new restoration, making an impression of the prepared tooth and the surrounding teeth to create a model of what was done, and then finally placing a temporary restoration for the patient to wear while the permanent one is being fabricated. This fabrication traditionally takes place in a dental lab. After about two weeks, the patient returns to the office, the temporary is removed, and the permanent restoration is bonded into place. These types of restorations are extremely durable and for many years, this was the only way to fabricate and place them.

Now there is a more convenient way to create crowns, inlays, and onlays. It is called CEREC. which stands for Chair side Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. This technology uses computer-aided design and computer aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) to allow us to fabricate crowns, inlays, onlays, and even veneers in one day. Multiple visits with multiple injections are no longer required. Your time is valuable and CEREC allow us to utilize your time wisely.

Fabricating these restorations is done much the same as the traditional way, without the second visit and temporary restoration. Dr. Higgs prepares the tooth, but instead of making impressions, he uses a sophisticated camera to take pictures of the prepared tooth. With the help of a computer, Dr. Higgs then designs and fabricates your restoration right there in the office. You leave that visit with a beautiful, permanent restoration.

Pros and Cons of CEREC


  • CEREC crowns are made in one visit, saving both the dentist and the patient time.
  • With CEREC, there is no need for a temporary crown, which eliminates one of the potential discomforts for the patient.
  • CEREC crowns have no metal in them, and thus are reasonably esthetic.
  • CEREC material and technology can also be used for fillings. Since they are made out of porcelain, they are more durable than typical white composite fillings.
  • While the initial investment in CEREC technology is expensive, it can save money over the long run because there is no extra lab technician fee for the dentist, and only one appointment is required, not two.


  • Because CEREC crowns are milled out of a single block of ceramic, it is difficult to incorporate into them the subtle color gradients of natural teeth. They look great on back teeth, but don't have the esthetic quality of laboratory-made crowns for front teeth. There are a very few highly skilled cosmetic dentists who are able to create natural-looking dentistry for the front teeth with CEREC technology, and some companies are now making ceramic blocks with a color gradient, but the cosmetic dentist needs to be highly skilled and very talented to work with these blocks to produce a natural-looking result.

Other dental crown options:

Call the Chandler Dentist today at (480) 812-2800 for your free CEREC dental consultation!

(480) 812-2800 Dr. Rich Higgs, DDS