Out of all the things you need to do, one of the last things is spend hours at the dentist’s office having a dental crown placed. However if you are in need of a dental crown, you may not exactly have a choice. That is until now. Modern dental technology has evolved in such a way that same day crowns are now available to save you time and get you out of the dentist’s chair and back to your life faster.
Same day crowns are just like dental crowns fabricated by a dental lab, however they eliminate the need for the 1-2 week period between the preparation and placement appointments. In fact, they simply combine preparation and placement into the same dental appointment, meaning you don’t have to come back. This is because same day crowns eliminate the need for a dental lab.
Instead of a dental lab, same day crown technology uses what is known as a CAD/CAM machine. Basically, this type of machine obtains digital images of the mouth that it then uses to fabricate a customized dental crown using an in-office milling machine. As of now, there are two commonly used CAD/CAM machines: E4D & CEREC. The main difference between the two is that the CEREC requires a reflective material to be brushed onto the teeth in order to obtain accurate images, while the E4D does not.
The first step to having a same day crown placed is to have your tooth prepared for the crown. To prepare your tooth, your dentist will use dental anesthetics to numb your mouth and may even use dental sedation to keep you calm. They will then use a dental drill to remove any decayed or damaged tissue, as well as to reduce the overall size of the tooth. This is so that the dental crown can easily be placed over the top of the tooth without changing the overall bite. Once your tooth has been prepared, digital images will be taken of your tooth and transferred to the in-office milling machine to begin work on your crown.
The average time it takes for an in-office milling machine to fabricate a dental crown is about 60-90 minutes. During this time, you may have the option of leaving and coming back later to have the crown placed. Or you can simply wait in the office while your crown is fabricated. Same day crown fabrication is completed in the following steps:
- Cut: all dental crowns fabricated using in-office milling machines start off as blocks of porcelain, composite, or lithium disilicate. Therefore, the first step is to carve out the shape, size, and texture of the crown using several small burs. This step generally takes about 20 minutes to complete.
- Color: after the crown has been shaped, the next step is to stain and glaze the crown with the appropriate color. This allows the crown to match the surrounding teeth. It takes another 20 minutes to color the crown.
- Fire: the final step to in-office dental crown fabrication is to fire the crown. Firing is a finishing process that sets the shape and color in place. Most crowns are fired for 15-20 minutes.
Once your crown has been fabricated, your dentist will inspect the crown and place it over your tooth to check the fit. This is so that they can make any minor adjustments to the crown before it is cemented in place. Your appointment will end once the crown has been adjusted, placed, and cemented.
As you can see, same day dental crowns are completed quickly and effectively. In as little as a single dental appointment, you can have your tooth prepared for a crown, as well as have the crown fabricated and placed all at once. This saves you time by preventing the need for multiple dental appointments. If you need to have a dental crown placed, be sure to ask your dentist about same day crowns.
Dr. Chris Vinson and Dr. Kristie Vinson attended the College of Dentistry at The University of Oklahoma. Dr. Chris Vinson has earned a fellowship from the Misch International Implant Institute and a fellowship in International Congress of Oral Implantology. He is also certified to administer Oral and IV sedation to his patients through The Montefiore College of Medicine in New York and is Teeth-Express and Invisalign certified. Dr. Kristie Vinson is trained in sedation dentistry, Botox, and dermal fillers. She received a Fellowship from the Misch International Implant Institute and the Fellowship in International Congress of Oral Implantology. She is also Teeth-Express and Invisalign Certified.