If you’ve needed a crown before, you probably remember going to the dentist for several dental visits before the process was complete. But have you heard of single-visit dentistry? New technology has made it possible to circumvent the multiple appointments needed and have a patient walk in and walk out with a brand-new crown on the same day!
A crown- Is that different to a filling?
A dental crown is a long lasting, strong covering (sometimes called a “cap”) for a tooth that gives a stronger restoration than a filling can provide. It encircles the tooth to protect it from fracturing. Reasons people require a crown over a filling include:
Sometimes teeth crack even though they aren’t decayed. This can be from silver fillings (amalgams) as the amalgam expands and contacts with temperature, so whenever you eat hot and cold things it pushes against the side walls of the teeth. Many years of this can lead to tooth cracks and fractures. Teeth grinding without a night guard can also lead to cracking, as can biting something hard like an olive pip.
In these cases, a covering that encases the whole tooth, keeping it sealed and held together whilst providing a hard surface that can take the forces we put our teeth through is a long-lasting solution to the problem. Leaving a cracked tooth untreated can make the future of that tooth uncertain as the crack can go through the nerve leading to pain and potential tooth loss.
Filling a tooth that has had a large portion of it decayed leaves the tooth weak and vulnerable to cracking. This is because the filling materials used in conventional fillings aren’t meant to take significant amounts of pressure. In such cases a crown is a good option to not have future problems with more time and money spent on treating the tooth.
Aesthetic zones (front teeth) that require a longer lasting restoration
For smile makeovers often crowns are utilized to provide a long lasting and aesthetically superior finish over conventional fillings.
Implants are a titanium screw placed inside the jaw bone that then requires a crown on top to replace the missing tooth.
Root canaled teeth
When a tooth requires a root canal from decay or trauma the inside structure of the tooth is removed leaving the tooth brittle and prone to fracture. Placement of a crown will hold the tooth together and provide it with the strength it needs.
What’s the process of a one-day crown?
Traditionally a crown required at least 2 appointments that involved preparing the tooth (reducing it to make space for the crown), placing a temporary crown on while a lab made the permanent crown and a fitting appointment, usually 1 week later. Now, with cutting edge technology this whole process is done in the one appointment. The tooth is prepped, then scanned by CADCAM (computer assisted design, computer assisted manufacturing) technology, the scan is sent to an on-site mill and the crown is made right there in the practice. After milling, it is heated in an onsite kiln to strengthen it further. Once cooled the crown is ready to be cemented on your tooth and voila! You are ready to walk out and enjoy your new crown and the rest of day.
The appointment will usually last 1.5 to 2.5 hours, but don’t worry- your mouth won’t be open that entire time! A lot of this time is spent in the manufacturing phase, where you can relax with a cup of tea or catch up on work emails.
PROS of CEREC crowns
All done, from start to finish in 1 appointment
No need temporary crowns. Traditionally, a temporary crown was placed on the tooth for 1-2 weeks between preparing and fitting appointments. These are generally weaker than permanent crowns so they can fracture and also come out, leading to an extra appointment of remaking or rebonding. Because they aren’t bonded strongly, gaps can occur in them, leading to tooth sensitivity.
Extremely strong porcelain materials used, leaving your tooth well protected
Hand-designed and crafted in front of your eyes by your caring dentist
Can match most tooth shades
CONS of CEREC crowns
For aesthetic zone crowns and veneers, it’s sometimes preferable to send to a laboratory as they can colour the tooth in a more specific and intricate way to match the tooth next door. Having said that, we usually get beautiful results in the front using CEREC.
At Crows Nest Dental we have the CEREC scanner, mill and kiln to bring our patients the convenience of cutting-edge technology. If you think you need a crown, call or book online for a consult with one of our dentists.