Advancements in Dental Crowns

Annual Advancements in Medicine Section

From minimally invasive surgical technologies to innovative appproaches to rehabiliation and beyond, new research in the medical field is optimizing care for patients and doctors alike. Read on to discover the latest in revolutionary treatment options.

Thanks to new scanning technology, dental crowns can be designed and fitted in a same-day procedure.

Understanding Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are synthetic caps that provide shape and function for restoration. These protective coverings can prevent tooth breakage, restore teeth that are already broken, and hold dental bridges in place. Crowns can also support a tooth that’s had a root canal and can cover a dental implant. Without crowns, damaged teeth are more prone to toothaches, sensitivity, and pain when biting or chewing.

New Solutions

Installing a dental crown used to require two visits – the first to create an impression of the filed tooth and the second to cement the crown. But now, same-day procedures are possible. Using computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology, dentists can take digital photos of the mouth and create a custom crown during one visit. The entire process takes about two to four hours.

illustration of dental crown

What to Expert

The CAD/CAM same-day crown process involves five steps:

  • Tooth Preparation: Before attaching the new crown, your dentist will prepare the site for restoration by removing decay.
  • Intraoral Scanning: Next, an optical scanner is used to create a 3D custom image of your mouth.
  • Restoration Design: Once the image is obtained, your dentist will use the CAD software to identify the proper design for your prosthesis.
  • Production: The software will then connect with an on-site milling machine that shapes the crown from a block of ceramic. It is then stained or glazed to match your natural tooth color.
  • Cementation: Your new crown will be ready for application immediately. Your dentist will cement it to the tooth, polish it, and remove any excess debris.

Benefits to Patients

Studies show that this procedure is just as successful as traditional techniques and can even assist in preserving more of the existing tooth. CAD/CAM crown installation is quick and efficient, eliminating the temporary crown and second visit required by past methods. Because the process is completed same-day and chairside, the patient can see what their new crown will look like and how it will fit, leaving them confident and comfortable with their restoration.

An Expert Weighs In

“With the use of CAD/CAM in dentistry, crowns can be made on the same day. This eliminates the need to wait for crown fabrication for two to three weeks while a temporary crown is worn. Although the cost of a lab-fabricated vs. same-day crown is about the same, patients save money by cutting out the extra visit, meaning less time off work and less travel time to the office. One question we are often asked is about the strength. Recent studies have shown that CAD/CAM tooth restorations are just as successful as crowns made with traditional materials and techniques.”

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