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Getting a dental crown to restore a damaged tooth used to take at least a couple weeks and at least two visits to your dentist. That all changed with the introduction of state-of-the art same-day crowns, with treatment completed in a single appointment of two hours or less.

Same-day crowns have become a popular choice because they cut out messy impressions and the need for a temporary crown. The digital technology behind same-day crowns also removes the element of human error that may occur in the manual manufacture of crowns.

Perfected over 30 years, same-day crowns are the ideal option if your work or educational commitments or otherwise hectic lifestyle preclude lengthy, traditional crown treatment. Same-day crowns can provide a fast solution if you have a problem such as:

  • Advanced tooth decay.
  • Chipped tooth.
  • Cracked tooth.
  • Discolored tooth.

What Are Dental Crowns?

A dental crown – also referred to as a tooth cap – encases the entire visible section of a tooth to restore strength, size and shape, and enhance appearance.

Crowns have a high success rate and are an effective long-term solution, providing greater protection than a filling. Crowns also provide a good alternative to large fillings that can jeopardize the structural integrity of a tooth. Crowns are also able to withstand a strong bite pressure without sustaining damage.

Crowns can be used in a wide range of situations, including:

  • When a filling wouldn’t be sufficient to repair damage.
  • To support a tooth with a large filling.
  • Concealing a filling that’s become stained.
  • Restoring structural integrity to a cracked tooth.
  • Preventing a weak tooth from breaking.
  • When you get dental implants.
  • To hold a dental bridge in place.
  • To protect a tooth after a root canal.
  • To conceal dental imperfections such as a misshapen or badly stained tooth.

Some crowns are made from metal alloys such as gold or stainless steel. Others are fashioned from composite resin, a fusion of metal and porcelain, or ceramic.

What Are Same-Day Ceramic Crowns?

Same-day crowns are completely ceramic and come in the form of CEREC, which stands for ceramic reconstruction or chairside economical restoration of (a)esthetic ceramics.

CEREC crowns are custom made in the dental office with durable, natural-looking ceramic materials. They’re designed, created and fitted with computer-assisted technology. CAD (computer-aided design) and CAM (computer-aided manufacturing) produces a digital scan from which tooth-colored crowns are fabricated for a precise fit.

The CEREC Process

The steps involved in getting a CEREC crown are:

  • Cleaning the tooth.
  • Shaping the tooth (after numbing the area) so the crown will fit without being too bulky – your restored tooth will be the same size as before.
  • Producing a digital image with the help of a high-definition imaging wand.
  • Recording the tooth’s precise dimensions directly into a computer.
  • Digital design and creation of the crown.
  • Placing the crown on the tooth. Minor adjustments may be needed for an exact fit.
    • • Polishing the crown to a perfect finish.
  • Checking bite function and making any final modifications.

Advantages of CEREC Crowns

The key advantage of CEREC crowns is convenience. The entire process takes place during a single visit to your dentist.

Ceramic crowns also address the aesthetic issue of crowns with a metal base that remains visible as a dark edge. CEREC crowns are made with a single, solid block of ceramic materials.

The color of ceramic crowns is close to that of your natural teeth, which makes the crown virtually unnoticeable.

Single-visit crowns mean less time off work or school or other activities, and with good oral hygiene they can last 15 years or more.

CEREC crowns also save you money by eliminating a second appointment and the need to make a temporary crown.

The multiple benefits of same-day ceramic crowns compared with other types of crowns include:

    • Natural appearance.
    • Precise restoration.
    • Durable materials.
    • Advanced dental adhesives.
    • Minimal tooth preparation with less loss of healthy structure.
    • No possibility of allergic reaction to metal.
    • Avoiding problems associated with temporary crowns.

Issues with Temporary Crowns

If you get a temporary crown while a dental lab makes the permanent crown, it may leave you self-conscious about your speech and your smile, and you’ll have to avoid many types of foods to prevent damage to the temporary crown.

Other problems with temporary crowns include a poor fit. Temporary crowns are often uncomfortable, and they may come loose, posing the risk of damage to your mouth.

Temporary crowns are also prone to falling out. If this happens, you’ll need yet another appointment to have another temporary restoration fitted. Temporary crowns can also cause tooth sensitivity.

With a single-visit crown, you walk out of the dental office within a few hours with oral functionality fully restored and ready to show off your new smile.

Are Same-Day Crowns Right for Me?

CEREC crowns represent the latest in dental technology and science, and are ideal for minimizing time in the dental chair and instantly giving you a natural, attractive smile and fully functional tooth.

Besides enhancing your appearance in next to no time and looking better than metal-base crowns, same-day crowns also bypass the need for impressions with messy putty trays or powders – particularly upsetting if you have a strong gag reflex. In some cases, you may even be able to get other dental work done during the appointment to get your crown.

However, same-day ceramic crowns may not always be the right option to treat a damaged tooth. They might not be recommended by your dentist if:

      • A crack in a tooth extends beneath the gumline.
      • The tooth gets a lot of wear and tear – a traditional crown is likely to last longer without needing repairs.
      • Your dentist doesn’t have the equipment or training necessary to provide same-day crowns.

In some cases, a better solution than crowns may be provided by treatments such as veneers to mask dental imperfections or a filling if your tooth has minimal damage.

Fine Dentistry of Downtown Orlando can help you weigh up the pros and cons of ceramic crowns in your particular case and help you make an informed decision on whether same-day crowns are right for you.