Imagine you are enjoying a nice dinner when you feel your tooth chip. You feel a hard, gritty piece of tooth in your mouth. Maybe you also feel pain. You may dread the inconvenience, expense and month-long wait involved in getting a new crown for your tooth.
You may be debating on same day crowns versus traditional crowns, but relief may be one dental visit away if your dentist offers same-day crowns. Otherwise, you may have to wait a month for a new crown. It is bad enough to suffer discomfort from a broken, chipped or a cracked tooth for even one day!
A dental crown is a “cap” that fits over your tooth. It looks like a tooth, and it is typically made of porcelain or gold. Same day crowns are made of porcelain. The crown encases your existing tooth right to the gum line.
Dentists prescribe crowns to reinforce a weak tooth, repair chipped or cracked teeth, to hold a dental bridge in position, to improve the tooth’s appearance, or for a variety of other reasons. Some crowns are emergencies such as the example where someone breaks a tooth while eating. Other crowns correct chronic, long-term damage such as teeth that are worn thin from years of grinding.
Traditionally a new crown requires two visits to the dentist:
Thanks to modern technology, selected dentists can create same day crowns. This capability is currently limited to a minority of dental offices who have the right training and equipment.
To start, the dentist uses a small 3D camera to take pictures of the tooth. For many patients, the process of taking 3D photographs is more comfortable than the process for making traditional dental impressions.
Once your dentist measures your teeth, the dental team uses computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) to create a ceramic crown custom fitted to your tooth.
Since all this is done “in-house” the 2-4 week waiting time doesn’t apply. Often a dental office can create same-day crowns while you are relaxing in the waiting room.
Unfortunately, most dentists do not have the ability to create same day crowns. This is a high-tech process that requires the right equipment and up-to-date expertise. According to “USA Today”, around 10% of dental offices have the capacity to offer same day crowns.
Dentists who offer same day dentistry invest up-front in training, software, and equipment to be able to offer this service. Tiny 3D cameras, modeling software, and specialized ceramic mills are among the required equipment that makes same day dentistry cost prohibitive for some dentists. The 10% who invest are committed to investing in the best emerging practices and most likely serve a well-populated area.
Before Same-Day Crown
After Same-Day Crown
Like any other dental procedure, same day crowns are not right for every patient. There are some circumstances where your dentist may recommend another treatment or even traditional crowns. Sometimes the condition of the tooth or location needing the crown decrease the chances of success. This is why an exam and diagnosis are the first steps to effective dental treatment.
Same day crowns are just one of many modern digital dentistry practices. These cutting-edge techniques makes dental care faster, more convenient, and better. Other Digital Dentistry techniques include:
A member of your dental team, such as a dentist or hygienist, will advise you on how to take care of your new crown.
The recommendations may cover cleaning and maintenance. Your dental professional will also outline whether you need to avoid specific foods. One benefit to the ceramic crowns used in the same day process is that they are durable. Sometimes you learn special flossing and brushing techniques.
If you suffer from a broken or chipped tooth, call today to make a dental appointment. Your dentist will perform an exam to determine the best course of treatment, which may include a same day crown.