Same-Day Dental Crowns
Another exciting advancement in dental technology is the incorporation of CAD/CAM milling of dental crowns on site. This means that your dentist makes your custom crown in your dental office. In this week’s article, we will explain everything you need to know about same-day crowns.
What is a Crown?
A crown is a type of dental restoration designed to completely cover a tooth in order to restore it to natural form and function. A dental crown replaces the tooth’s natural covering of enamel with a dental material like gold or porcelain.
In order to restore a tooth with a crown, your dentist must first prepare the tooth. The preparation involves removal of all decay, any prior dental work, and the outer layer of enamel. This is necessary to create space for the replacement material. The preparation of a tooth for a dental crown is necessary, no matter which type of crown you receive.
Why Do I Need a Crown?
A dental crown is necessary to rebuild and restore a tooth to the appropriate shape and function with the opposite tooth in the bite. A crown is necessary when a dental filling cannot accomplish that restoration to full form and function.
When a large portion of a tooth has been lost to decay (or to prior decay and restored with a large filling), the remaining tooth structure is weak. This weakened enamel and dentin may be unable to withstand the normal forces of chewing. A crown covers over this weakened tooth structure, adding strength to the tooth and stability to the bite.
While it is more likely for a tooth with significant decay or a large restoration can break, even a perfectly healthy tooth can crack. Cracks develop under heavier than normal forces in a healthy tooth (like nighttime clenching or grinding), and under normal forces in a tooth weakened by decay or large dental fillings.
The crown covers the cracked tooth, acting as a splint to hold it together and prevent any further cracking. A crown also prevents bacterial leakage into the crack, leading to decay or infection.
Root Canal Treatment
When a tooth undergoes a root canal treatment, the dentist removes all blood vessels and nerves from the hollow center of the tooth. This is necessary to remove infected tissue, but it also removes the source of hydration, making the treated tooth brittle. Teeth with root canal treatments are notorious for cracking, so we preventively cover them with crowns.
What is a Same-Day Crown?
Sometimes called “in-house crowns” or “CEREC crowns”, a same-day crown is a crown made by your dentist in the office while you wait. The preparation for a same-day crown is the same as the preparation for a traditional crown. Your dentist uses local anesthetic to make sure you don’t feel any pain during the preparation (which involves drilling).
After the tooth preparation, your dentist uses 3D intraoral scanning technology to capture a digital model of the prepared tooth. Then your dentist can design the crown through a unique software program. Once satisfied with the design, he or she “sends” the design to a milling machine.
The milling machine uses multiple tiny drill bits, lots of water irrigation, and a rotating block of the chosen crown material to create a hard copy of the digital crown your dentist designed. The process takes about twenty to thirty minutes, during which time you will relax in the dental chair.
Your dentist then fits the crown over your prepared tooth, confirms the fit with a digital x-ray, and permanently affixes it to your tooth with a dental cement. All done in a single appointment!
How Do Same-Day Crowns Differ from Traditional Dental Crowns?
A certified dental lab technician in an off-site dental laboratory makes traditional dental crowns. This requires two visits with the dentist. During the first, he or she prepares the tooth, takes an impression or digital scan of the prep, and then covers the prepared tooth with a temporary crown. We send the impression or digital file to the dental lab, and they create the crown. At the second visit, about two to three weeks later, your dentist removes the temporary crown, fits the permanent crown, and cements it into place with a dental adhesive.
A same-day crown, as the name implies, requires only a single visit to the dentist. Your dentist designs and makes a same-day crown, as opposed to an off-site lab technician making your traditional crown.
What are the Advantages of Same-Day Crowns?
Same-day crowns have several advantages over traditional crowns. Our patients love same-day crowns for these reasons.
One Dental Visit instead of Two
We know that no one wants to spend more time in the dental chair. With a same-day crown, your crown treatment is complete in a single visit. That means that you only have to take time off work once. You only have to get childcare for your children once.
While the single visit does take longer than the first visit of a traditional crown, it is still shorter than the total length of time necessary for a traditional crown.
And the one many people appreciate the most: you only have to receive local anesthetic (an injection) once.
No Temporary Crown
Temporary crowns are necessary to cover and protect a prepared tooth while the dental lab creates the permanent crown. Either your dentist or a registered dental assistant makes the temporary crown to fit and fill the space between the two neighboring teeth and bite against the opposite tooth appropriately.
Temporary crowns are just that: temporary! They are at a high risk for breaking or falling off, and many people have bad experiences with temporary crowns.
If a temporary crown falls off, you have to make yet another visit to the dentist for re-cementation. If you do not, you risk the surrounding teeth drifting into the prepared tooth’s space. When this happens, the permanent crown made by the dental lab often does not fit, leading to even more dental visits!
More Questions about Same-Day Crowns?
Call your nearest Premier Dental of Ohio location today to see the doctors there are able to provide our patients with same-day crowns. If not, we can happily refer you to the nearest location that does have this great technology. We love providing the most advanced and highest quality dental care for our patients.