The Technology and Benefits of Same Day CrownsPublished by Cashion Dental on May 28, 2016
When you need to crown a root canal tooth, cap a tooth that is cracked or badly worn, or for any other reason strengthen your teeth with a dental crown, you have two options: traditional lab-made crowns and same day crowns. “Same day” crowns are so named because the advanced camera and milling technologies they utilize require only a single trip to the dentist’s office to complete, as opposed to the multiple trips required for traditional crown work.
The Technology That Enables Same Day Crowns
There are two slightly different same day crown systems used by dentists today: CEREC and E4D. Both use CAD (Computer Aided Design) and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) to accomplish their tasks. CAD uses 3-D software that puts captured images of teeth on a digital screen, which is often positioned so the patient can view the results from their dental chair. CEREC uses an infrared camera to inform the CAD software of your tooth’s precise contours, but E4D uses laser technology to do the same thing with the same software. CAM is the milling unit, which operates at extremely high speeds to carve a custom-fitting crown out of a simple ceramic block.
The procedure for same day crown treatment, regardless of whether you are using CEREC or E4D, is about the same. First, a dentist who is licensed and trained to do same day crown procedures will carefully examine your teeth to ensure you are a good candidate for the treatment. Next, he will clean and administer anesthetic in the area of your mouth that will be affected. Then he will use a scanner (either optical or laser-powered) to feed the necessary information into the CAD software. Your teeth will appear on the computer screen, as you watch from your chair. At this point, a simple electronic data transfer will send the restoration data to the CAM milling station, which will probably finish milling out your crown within 20 minutes’ time.
The CAM mill will use tiny burs to carve your crown to exact specifications, which will include general tooth shape and the contours of the tooth’s chewing surface. A close-matching color will also be used, and the milled tooth will be polished until it looks incredibly similar to your original natural tooth. In some cases, a glaze will be used to get just the right color, and in that case, the tooth will be briefly (for 15 minutes) cured by firing much like they do with pottery. The finished crown will then be inspected by your dentist, checked for fit, and set in place with dental cement. In total, expect only 1 to 1.5 hours for the process to be complete.
After your same day crown is fully installed, your dentist will inform you of helpful ways to care for your new crown and your teeth in general. This includes oral hygiene practices like brushing, flossing, and using special cleaning sticks/brushes called “inter-dental cleaners.” they may also let you know if you should avoid any particular foods/drinks that could damage your crown. If you tend to clench your teeth while sleeping, your dentist may advise you use a mouth guard at night.
The Benefits of Same Day Crowns
There are many important benefits to availing yourself of same day crown technology. It is generally true that same day crowns cost more than lab-milled crowns, for ceramic is used and expensive dentistry equipment is involved. Nonetheless, the fact that fewer visits are needed, and that dental insurance coverage for same day crowns is as good as that for traditional crowns, tends to bring down the price. Each geographic area and dental practitioner will charge a little differently, but same day crowns often do not cost as much as you might think, while providing great additional benefits.
Some of the most notable benefits of same day crowns are:
1. They Save You Time: One visit to the dentist’s chair instead of two or three and no waiting for weeks before your crowns are milled means you don’t lose your off-work days to deal with dental problems.
2. No Temporaries Are Needed: Unlike traditional crowns, same day crowns do not require you wear uncomfortable, plastic temporary crowns for up to three weeks while waiting. Temporary crowns often become stained and can make your teeth very sensitive.
3. No Dental Putty Is Involved: Digitally mapping your tooth means that no impression must be made in messy trays or dental putty. Such putty is often ill-tasting, and it is a welcome advance to no longer have to resort to its use.
4. You Get An Exact Fit: Digital scanning and milling are so precise that you can rest assured your crown will fit snugly and align properly with your other teeth. Your bite pattern is taken into account, and every minute detail of your tooth’s contours are incorporated.
5. Same Day Crowns Look Better: Traditional crowns tend to leave you with unsightly black lines running along your gum line—same day crowns will not. CEREC same day crowns come in 17 distinct shades meant to precisely mimic your natural tooth color, and your dentist will help you select the best match.
6. Same Day Crowns Use High-Quality Ceramic: Ceramic keeps the metal out of your mouth, is less bulky than porcelain, and contains no materials that would irritate your teeth or gums. It looks natural, feels natural, and has many of the same properties as tooth enamel. Ceramic is also very durable, less prone to cracking, and it will expand/contract with hot/cold temperatures, allowing you to eat many of your favorite foods.
Same day crowns are a modern breakthrough in dentistry that greatly enhance the quality and convenience of getting a dental crown installed on one or more of your teeth. They are done quickly in a single visit, fit perfectly, and last for many years.
If you are looking for a dentist who is trained and certified to administer same day crowns in the College Station, TX, area, contact Cashion Dental at 979-693-6723 for more information or to schedule a consultation.