Same day crowns, also known as CEREC® crowns, can be used just like conventional dental crowns. These crowns are essentially identical to traditional crowns, but they can be made in under two hours. In contrast, conventional dental crowns take about two weeks to be created offsite in a dental laboratory.
How are same day crowns made?
Same day crowns are created through an in-office process using computerized technology. After the teeth are treated, prepared and reshaped, the process can begin. First, the dentist uses a computer (known as a CAD/CAM system) to create a customized digital impression of the mouth. Then, the impression is sent off to an in-office milling machine that carves a crown out of a block of ceramic. In under two hours and in just one appointment, a tooth can go from damaged, decayed or missing to fully restored and functional.
Pros of same day crowns
These special crowns have many advantages, even beyond their shortened timeline.
The advanced system that allows same day crowns to be created also makes for a more lifelike crown. The CAD/CAM system is able to capture even the smallest crevices and shape variances in teeth. A physical impression is only able to make a rough estimation of the tooth to create a mold in which the traditional crown is made. Using a computerized system allows for a more snug fit and a more lifelike appearance and feel.
Waiting for weeks to get a new crown is in the past. Instead of having to wear a temporary crown out of the office after the first appointment with traditional crowns, CEREC crowns allow the patient to walk out of the office with a permanent crown in just one appointment.
The dental implant process is a long, drawn-out journey from missing tooth to the placement of the full prosthesis. Instead of having to wait for two weeks after the implant has fully fused with the bone (in a process that takes about six months), the patient can have a crown on the same day.
Although traditional crowns and same day crowns cost roughly the same, same day crowns are less expensive in the long run. Same day crowns save the patient from having to pay for the temporary crown and the extra appointment to place the permanent crown. Also, since these crowns have a better fit, they will last longer than a traditional crown.
Same day crowns allow a snugger fit. Not to mention, same day crowns eliminate the need for temporary crowns. Placing and removing temporary crowns can be an uncomfortable process that may bring added sensitivity to the treated tooth.
Save and protect the natural tooth underneath
Traditional crowns and same day crowns are both used to protect the natural tooth underneath from decay and damage. However, since same day crowns are permanent right away, the temporary crown is not needed. Temporary crowns do not protect the tooth as well as the permanent crown.
Cons of same day crowns
These crowns are usually preferred by patients, but in some instances, a traditional crown may be a better fit.
Only made from ceramic
Since the milling machine that creates same day crowns is only able to work with ceramic material, this is the only type of crown available within the CEREC system. Some patients prefer metal or porcelain fused to metal crowns for their added durability. If the patient wants or needs a different type of crown, traditional crowns are a consideration.
Below the gum-line fractures
The computerized system is not able to make an accurate impression of any damage below the gum-line. A conventional crown is usually a better fit when this is the case.
Need a dental crown?
Same day crowns may be the right option for you. Call our office today learn about the pros and cons of same day crowns and to set up an appointment to get your tooth from damaged to restored in just two hours.