Annual Tech for your Health
By Lucy Morris
Why You Might Need a Dental Crown
Crowns can be used to cover discolored or misshapen teeth for cosmetic reasons, but they are more often applied for functional reasons. Crowns can protect weak teeth from breaking, restore teeth that are already broken, or hold bridges in place. A crown can also be used to support a tooth that has had a root canal or to cover a dental implant.
Without crowns, a tooth that is chipped, decayed, or fractured might produce a toothache, tooth sensitivity, or pain while chewing or biting.
What Is CEREC?
CEREC is a CAD/CAM (Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing) technology that allows your dentist to position durable, high-quality ceramic crowns in just one visit.
The CEREC same-day crown process involves five steps:
Before your new crown can be attached, your dentist will prep your tooth for the prosthesis by removing decay or affected tissue.
Using an intraoral scanner, your dentist will take three-dimensional images of your teeth. These scans replace conventional impressions, which require a heavy molding paste that can be uncomfortable for patients.
he intraoral scanner connects with CEREC’s computer software to identify the proper design and fit for your crown.
Once designed, the software will connect with an on-site milling machine that creates a precise ceramic prosthesis to match your natural tooth color.
A new crown will be ready for application immediately. Your dentist will bond it to your tooth, polish it, and remove excess cement or debris.
Benefits of Same-Day Crowns
In the past, getting a crown would typically take two visits – a first visit to create impressions and a second to place the new crown. Today, CAD/CAM technology allows your dentist to place a crown in just one visit. Studies have shown that CAD/CAM tooth restorations are just as successful as those made using traditional techniques. The technology can also assist your dentist in preserving more of your existing tooth.