Getting a crown usually requires at least two dental visits: One to take a mold and the second to install the restoration. A CEREC® machine allows dentists to install a long-term crown in one visit by milling a replacement tooth on the same day as the fitting visit.Chairside Economical Restoration of Ceramics uses special computer…
Reduce the Number of Dental Visits With a CEREC Crown Procedure
While traditional crowns take multiple appointments to apply, CEREC® options require just one dental visit. These same-day restorations are made in the dentist’s office immediately after the patient has been prepped and images of the mouth have been taken. As a result, patients can forgo making future appointments for the same crown. To better understand how CEREC® crowns reduce the number of visits, compare traditional and single-appointment procedures.
Timeline for traditional crowns
Traditional crowns are commonly made of porcelain or metal and must be crafted in a location away from the dentist’s office. The procedure generally involves two visits and requires the patient to wear a temporary crown over the problem tooth while the permanent crown is made.
The patient’s tooth is prepped for the crown first. A putty is used to take an impression of the mouth for creating an accurate model for creating the crown. The dentist trims the outer layer of the decaying tooth to make room for the artificial cap, and another impression is taken to ensure the right fit for the crown. Then the dentist matches the natural tooth color to an artificial one, ensuring the crown will not stand out among the patient’s teeth. A temporary crown is fitted to protect the tooth until the permanent one arrives.
The dentist sends all necessary items to a lab for the creation of the replacement tooth covering. This includes mouth impressions, molds of the shaved tooth, and color information. It may take a few weeks for the permanent crown to be made.
Once the permanent crown arrives, a second appointment is required for its placement. The dentist removes the temporary and uses a dental cement mixture to stick the permanent crown in place. Other than follow-ups about concerns, this should be the final appointment.
Timeline for CEREC® crowns
Same-day restorations are unique because they do not require the weeks-long waiting periods or temporary crowns. Everything is completed in a single simple procedure.
The dentist takes an impression of the mouth using computer scans. This takes about 15 minutes, and the images are uploaded to a 3D printer to create a complete digital impression. Another scan may be taken once the tooth is trimmed. A rendering of the new crown is made in the office and sent to the printer.
The crown is printed over the course of an hour or two. Patients may be able to leave the dental office during that time and return when it is ready.
The crown is placed using the same techniques as a traditional one. Adjustments or extra attention may be necessary to ensure a smooth fit. After two to four hours, a timeframe that includes taking scans, making the crown, and placing it, patients walk out with a new, permanent restoration.
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