A crown is a dental restoration that has been around for many decades. Covering the entire surface of the tooth, from the top right down to the gum line, a crown is often a good choice for a tooth that has a great deal of decay, a tooth with an older filling that needs to be replaced, or to protect a tooth that has undergone a root canal treatment.
One recent advancement in crown technology is CEREC® same-day crowns. With traditional crowns, patients needed to make two trips to the dentist office. During the first visit, the dentist would prepare the affected tooth by removing all decay and/or the existing filling, make a physical impression of the tooth and send that impression out to a dental lab, then fit the patient with a temporary crown to wear while the permanent version is created in the outside lab. Afterwards, usually 10 to 14 days later, the patient would return to the dentist office, where the dentist would fit the permanent crown.
While there are still some similarities, CEREC® technology has changed the procedure involved in getting a new crown. The process starts out the same, with the dentist preparing the tooth by removing decay and/or old filling material, but from that point forward things are much different. Instead of using a messy impression material to create a physical mold of the tooth for the outside lab, the dentist uses CAD/CAM technology to take a photo of the tooth and transfer that image to the CEREC® design system. Using that digital image, the new permanent crown is made in a matter of just a couple of hours. Then, at the end of that first visit, the patient is fitted with the new permanent crown. Not only does CEREC® technology eliminate the need for a physical mold, it also means that there is no need for the patient to wear a temporary crown. The entire process is completed in a single visit to the office!
CEREC® crowns are convenient for the patient, extremely durable, and surprisingly affordable. The ceramic material used in same-day crowns can be made to very closely match the shade of the patient’s natural teeth, which means that the new permanent crown is barely noticeable. Of course, CEREC® crowns may not be the right choice for you. There are times when a traditional crown might be a better choice. To find out more about this remarkable same-day crown technology, and to decide which type of crown is right for you, talk to your dentist today.