Crowns are durable coverings, custom-made to fit over the entire tooth from the gum line up. They are created to restore teeth that have suffered structural impairment by decay or trauma.
Usually, crown fabrication takes place in a dental laboratory. These days, however, there’s a much more convenient alternative referred to as ‘’same-day crowns’’ made in the dental office.
Usually, the fabrication of crowns takes no less than two to three weeks for both sizing and design. But then, with the advent of the advanced dental technology, known as Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing, (also known as CAD/CAM), the fabrication of laboratory-grade crowns and other dental restorations can be done in mere minutes.
And as an added reassurance, research has proven that CAD/CAM tooth treatment have the same success rate as that of the traditional materials and techniques. Also, the lifelike appearance of a same-day crown guarantees that no one will observe that the tooth has been restored.
How Does It Work?
The process of crowning a tooth (be it a same-day crown or traditional crown) begins with “preparation.” This involves the removal of any decay present in the tooth and reshaping the tooth using a dental drill for it to size the crown correctly.
If you are getting a traditional crown, the next step is to use a putty-like material to take a sample picture of your teeth in order to use that sample to create the crown.
With a same-day crown, your teeth are given a light dusting of reflective powder. Subsequently, a small scanning wand is attached to a computer used in taking high-quality images inside your mouth. Within seconds, the system will produce a highly accurate 3D model of your teeth.
A mirror-image of the same tooth on the other side of the patient’s mouth is created using the CAD/CAM software, for the most natural-looking result possible. Next, a block of dental ceramic material is chosen in the shade that most closely matches the patient’s teeth. The software design is then transmitted to a milling machine that carves the crown from the ceramic block in about five minutes.
Upon the verification of the crown’s fit, and the addition of any necessary aesthetic enhancements to the surface, the crown is bonded to the patient’s tooth.
For traditional crowns, temporary restoration would have to be worn by the patient for some weeks pending on the preparation of the permanent crown in the lab.
Patients are to take care of their crowns as they would do for the natural teeth. It implies that the crowns should be brushed and flossed along with the natural teeth daily to avoid plaque build-up.
With crowns, it is of utmost importance that a patient maintains a regular schedule of professional cleanings at the dental office. They are also instructed to avoid using their teeth as tools (to open packages, et cetera).
For patients with a grinding habit, wearing a nightguard is advisable for the protection of their teeth and investment. A well-cared-for same-day crown is sure to last for years to come.