CEREC®: Same-Day Crowns
While we always try to prevent oral health problems first, most people still need restorative treatment at some point in their lives. One of our most common restorations here at SmileCOS Dentistry is known as a dental crown. These days, dental crown treatment is safer, easier, faster, more effective, and more comfortable than ever before. Cutting-edge technology and advanced techniques has led to the advent of CEREC same day crowns, which have revolutionized restorative treatment!
What Is a Dental Crown?
Tooth decay (dental caries) and facial trauma are the two most common problems that necessitate the placement of a restoration. The first line of defense for tooth decay, or cavities, is usually a dental filling. These days, we use a putty-like substance called composite resin, which can be shaped and shaded to make the appearance and color of your surrounding enamel.
Larger instances of decay, an infection within the tooth, and substantial structural damage generally warrant the use of a dental crown. A crown is a full-coverage restoration, shaped like the visible portion of your tooth, used to restore its size, shape, appearance, and structure. We may recommend a crown if you have:
A dental crown can also be used to make a cosmetic modification or replace a missing tooth. Your crown can improve the cosmetics of a tooth that is severely discolored, misshaped, chipped, or otherwise abnormal in appearance. Patients in need of a single-tooth replacement typically opt for: a conventional bridge (a series of linked dental crowns), or a dental implant (a titanium post attached to a dental crown).
Different Types of Crowns
There are four major types of restorative materials utilized for dental crowns. The different types of crowns include:
What Is a CEREC Same Day Crown?
Placing conventional crowns, regardless of the material we use, typically involves a lengthy process spread out over several appointments (not including your initial consultation). We understand most of our patients have busy lives, which is why we also specialize in CEREC same day dental crowns. CEREC, which is made possible by computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM), stands for “Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics.”
To place a crown, whether it be conventional or CEREC, the damaged tooth must be completely reshaped. Once the tooth is properly prepared, we can take an impression, and use it to design and fabricate your crown. However, the fabrication process for a conventional crown usually takes several weeks to complete, meaning you schedule a follow-up appointment at a later date.
The CEREC system allows us to prepare your tooth and fabricate a beautiful porcelain crown all within a single appointment! After the tooth is reshaped, we use an intraoral camera and CEREC software to produce a digital impression and design your crown. The digital design process, when combined with our precise chairside milling unit, ensures an accurate and comfortable fit.
Is a CEREC Crown Right for You?
Andrew Miller, DDS will be able to tell you whether or not a CEREC crown is the ideal solution during your initial consultation visit. First, we must determine that your tooth is decayed, damaged, or unsightly enough to constitute a full-coverage dental crown. This usually involves a comprehensive visual exam and advanced imaging technology (x-rays or CBCT scans).
Most patients in need of a conventional dental crown should qualify for CEREC treatment. It is really a matter of personal preference. We may suggest a CEREC crown if you would like to avoid scheduling multiple appointments and spend less time in the dental chair. Both types of crowns are comparable in price, effectiveness, and esthetics.
CEREC Same Day Crown Procedure
As with conventional crowns, the CEREC procedure begins with tooth preparation. We typically use a local anesthetic to numb the tooth and eliminate pain before reshaping the enamel. We also specialize in a number of sedation methods, from nitrous oxide to intravenous medications, to provide a more comfortable experience.
Once you are numb and properly sedated (if needed), we can prepare the tooth. Andrew Miller, DDS will use a sanding instrument to remove a portion of the enamel. While we always try to preserve as much healthy enamel as possible, the tooth must be completely reshaped to accommodate the size and shape of the crown.
After the tooth is prepared, we will take an impression of its new, smaller shape. The CEREC impression process involves an intraoral scanner, which takes hundreds of pictures of your mouth in seconds. The CEREC software then combines these images into a single, three-dimensional representation of your teeth and gums.
Next, we use the digital representation to design your new crown. You can even watch us do it on a chairside screen nearby. This is an excellent opportunity for you to actively participate in your treatment, as we are happy to answer questions and address any concerns.
Once we are satisfied with the design, we can begin the fabrication process. The digital representation of your new crown will be wireless transferred to our CEREC milling unit. This milling unit will then transform a singular block of porcelain into a beautiful and well-fit crown that matches the exact dimensions of our digital design.
Instead of taking a couple weeks, your CEREC crown will be fabricated in just minutes! After your crown is complete, we will polish the porcelain until it matches the sheen of your smile. Porcelain and other ceramic materials possess the same-light reflective properties as natural enamel, meaning your crown will be virtually indistinguishable from the rest of your teeth.
Before we bond the crown to your underlying tooth, we will check the margins of your new restoration. We may need to make some minor last-minute adjustments to provide a proper fit. Once we are satisfied with its position, we will permanently cement your crown into place using a powerful adhesive.
After Your CEREC Crown Procedure
If you undergo oral sedation or IV sedation, you will be required to arrange a ride to and from your appointment. The effects of your sedation may take several hours to wear off. You may experience numbness long after your appointment as well.
In the days following your procedure, a minor amount of sensitivity and discomfort is normal. Your new crown may also feel a little weird at first when chewing, speaking, and biting down. Both of these issues should dissipate within the first couple of weeks.
If you experience severe pain or other discomfort after the first week or so, be sure to give us a call. The same is true if your crown feels insecure, falls out, or you hear a crack. While these issues are rare, accidents happen, and they do occur. We may need to schedule an immediate appointment to address any problems and get your oral health back on track.
Caring for Your Same Day Dental Crown
Once you adjust to your new crown, you should be able to eat, speak, and smile with confidence and comfort. Crowns are also convenient, as they do not usually require any special care. In other words, you should be able to brush and floss your new restoration as you would a natural tooth.
Because there is still a natural tooth underneath your crown, tooth decay and gum disease can occur without proper oral hygiene. To avoid these issues, be sure to brush and floss your teeth on a daily basis, paying special attention to the area where the gum meets your crown. You can also use an antibacterial mouthwash for additional protection.
If you would like to maximize the longevity of your restoration, proper oral hygiene, and routine checkups are paramount. Be sure to avoid certain habits that place unnecessary strain on the crown, such as chewing on pen caps and biting your nails. Limiting your consumption of extra chewy or extremely hard foods can also reduce your risk of premature damage.
Advantages of a CEREC Same Day Crown
We specialize in CEREC same day crowns because we want our patients to have the best possible restorative experience. While a CEREC crown may not be right for everyone, many of our patients opt for this type of treatment thanks to its many benefits. The advantages of the CEREC system include:
Schedule Your Consultation Appointment Today!
You, too, could benefit from a CEREC crown! If you would like to learn more about your restorative options, including same day dental crowns, our team is here to help. Call (719) 394-3304 to schedule your consultation appointment today!