Dental crowns are an effective way to restore teeth that have been structurally undermined or require a significant makeover. Think of a crown as a cap that fits over your natural tooth in order to restore its function and enhance its aesthetic. If you need a crown, you have multiple options. Two of the most popular are the traditional dental crown and the same-day crown by CEREC.
Traditional vs. Same-Day Crowns
The traditional dental crown requires at least two visits. Your dentist will give you anesthesia, shape the tooth to accommodate the crown, make a digital or manual impression, and then place a temporary crown on your tooth. The impression is then sent to an outside dental laboratory that fabricates your permanent crown and mails it to your dentist. You will receive special instructions for how to care for your temporary crown, and after about two weeks, you will return to your dentist to have the temporary crown removed, and your permanent crown placed.
The CEREC approach eliminates the need for the temporary crown and the two-week wait. You will get anesthesia and have your tooth shaped. Your dentist will then take digital images that are transmitted to a highly advanced CEREC computer system. The software will develop a 3D model of your crown, which your dentist can then adjust as needed. Once perfected, that model is transmitted to an on-site milling machine. Your dentist will choose a ceramic block based on the color of your teeth. The machine will make your permanent crown, and your dentist will place it during that same visit.
The Advantages of Same-Day Crowns vs. Traditional Crowns
1. Convenience and Time
Getting a traditional crown is a process, whereas getting a same-day crown is a single dental visit. In fact, many people take an extended lunch to get their crowns and return to work that very same day. Same-day crowns are convenient in that you go once and you are finished. There is no two-week waiting period and no inconveniences to your lifestyle while you wait for your new crown to arrive. The traditional crown is going to take two visits, and there is no way around that inconvenience.
2. A Strong and Lasting Oral Restoration
CEREC same-day crowns are fabricated using ceramic blocks. These blocks are available in a wide range of colors so that your dentist can match the new crown with your adjacent teeth color. That results in a natural-looking crown. There are no metal or other materials used, and the ceramic is consistent and uniform. The ceramic material bonds well to the natural tooth and better than metal does, and that results in a crown that will last a long time. The ceramic itself is strong and will last a long time with proper care.
Traditional crowns can be made from many different materials. In addition to ceramic, these include porcelain, metal, and porcelain fused to metal. All-ceramic crowns tend to provide the most natural look. All-porcelain crowns provide a natural look as well, but when metal is involved, there will be aspects that look different and can stick out. This may not be a big deal on the back teeth, for instance, but it can really undermine your appearance if the metal is in a visible area. Metal is also more sensitive to temperatures, and it is possible for teeth to become more sensitive and even crack due to expansion.
3. No Temporary Crown Needed
Since traditional crowns have to be fabricated off-site, a temporary crown is required. Temporary crowns can be inconvenient. Your dentist will provide care instructions that you will have to follow less you need to return an additional time or more. Temporary crowns are generic and, therefore, do not fit well. Food particles can easily get trapped, and any plaque there may be difficult to clean. This makes regular oral care more difficult, and temporary crowns are prone to becoming loose or dislodged. That means that you have to be careful about what you eat, and the instructions that your dentist provides will include a list of food items that you should avoid until you have your permanent crown placed.
4. Precise Impressions
The CEREC same-day crown system uses digital impressions. Traditional crowns can be made with digital impressions but also manual impressions that involve gooey substances. Manual impressions are more prone to human error, but a good dentist will avoid any inaccuracies. The CEREC approach, however, cuts out the intermediary. Your digital impression goes straight to a computer where the crown model is created, and then, that data goes straight to a milling machine that is in the same office. There is more room for imprecision to crop up when the crown is being made by a third-party off-site.
Beautify Your Smile in a Single Visit
With CEREC same-day crowns, the process usually takes just a couple of hours, and most patients return to their daily routine as if nothing has changed. Multiple injections, temporary crowns, return visits and two-week waits are all hassles of the past thanks to CEREC. While you wait, you can sit back and relax and watch a TV show or listen to your favorite music, which really makes the time fly. If you are interested in CEREC one-visit crowns, call Scottsdale Dental Excellence at 480 585 1853 to schedule your appointment with Jeffrey D. Clark, DDS.