Cavities are one of the top health issues in the US today, just shy of the common cold. Most of the time, a cavity is caught before it becomes to big, but if for whatever reason it isn’t, you’ll need a crown. Crowns provide your damaged tooth with the structural strength it needs to keep doing what it was meant to do: grind and chew food.
The problem with crowns is that they take too long to install. It usually takes at least two appointments, with weeks in between. This isn’t just an inconvenience, it’s also dangerous, because during that time you’re extremely vulnerable to infection; if that happens, you’ll need endodontic therapy (root canal) to address it.
At Edgewood Dental (Edgewood, KY), we’ve invested a great deal in some of the most advanced technology available to ensure that the care we provide our patience is as effective and comfortable as possible. One great example of that technology is CEREC Same-Day Crowns.
What’s Wrong With Conventional Crowns?
It’s not really the crowns themselves that are the problem, but how the crowns are fabricated. When you get a conventional crown, it usually takes weeks, bookended by at least two appointments. On your first appointment, you’ll usually have a dental impression made. To accomplish this, you’d hold a dental tray in your mouth that contains a gooey substance which hardens, creating a mold around your teeth. This takes a full appointment, and the impression is what will be used to design your crown. Weeks have to go by while the crown is actually made, usually at a specialized lab outside the practice.
During this period, you’ll have a temporary crown placed to protect your tooth; unfortunately, temporary crowns are notorious for breaking. A broken crown leaves the tooth unprotected, and this can result in an infected tooth. The only way to treat it is with a root canal! All this amounts to additional and unnecessary discomfort, cost, and inconvenience for the patient.
Crowns work, but it’s getting them in that’s the problem. That’s where CEREC makes a big difference.
What Does CEREC Mean?
CEREC is an acronym, like NASA or RAM. It stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics.
Basically, that means CEREC crowns are:
Ceramic (in this case, porcelain), and designed and fabricated at your dentists’ office. That’s a breakthrough on its own, but then when you consider that CEREC crowns can be designed, fabricated, and installed within a single appointment, you can really see how this technology is lightyears ahead of conventional crowns.
One Appointment, That’s All
Instead of having to book two appointments (a difficult task if you’re a busy person) and then waiting weeks for your crown to be made, CEREC uses a combination of rapid manufacturing, software, and advanced imaging technology to create crowns faster than ever before. Even better, CEREC crowns are more accurately designed than conventional crowns, so much so that CEREC makes it possible to save damaged teeth that would have otherwise been extracted (especially when a tooth is damaged too near the gum line).
When you come in for your CEREC Same-Day Crown placement, you won’t have to deal with any messy dental trays or gooeyness. Your dentist will create a digital impression using our advanced imaging technology. Digital impressions have a couple key advantages over physical impressions:
- They’re much more accurate than a mold
- They’re easy to store and if necessary share because they’re a digital file; physical impressions tend to take up a lot of closet space!
Once the impression is made, your dentist will send it to a computer where CAD software (CAD for computer aided design, the same kind of software used by engineers to build bridges and create designs for industry) uses the impression to create an incredibly accurate crown for your tooth.
Once the design is created and checked over by your dentist, it is sent to an automatic milling machine (the process of making a crown is called “milling”). Essentially a robot, it will carve your crown from a solid block of porcelain. The porcelain comes in lots of shades so your dentist will be able to match a shade to the color of your natural teeth.
Porcelain is used for a number of dental restorations, because porcelain is extremely durable, stain resistant, and it mimics the appearance of natural teeth. A porcelain crown will look like a tooth that you were born with, and nobody has to know you have a crown in place if you don’t tell them! Of course, a lot of our patients have a hard time keeping their CEREC Same-Day Crowns to themselves because they’re frankly pretty cool!
Why Might I Need A Crown?
Besides a cavity that has grown large enough to be a threat to the structural integrity of a tooth, crowns are also useful after a root canal. A root canal leaves your natural tooth in place (which is always preferable to removal) but without the dental pulp, the organ at the center of the tooth. The dental pulp provides your tooth with nutrients and flushes away wastes; when the tooth’s surface is broken or cracked, the pulp can get infected, which is why you need to get a root canal. Without the dental pulp, your tooth just isn’t as strong as it needs to be (but it isn’t a total loss, either).
Crowns are also used as part of a dental implant; they’re the visible part of the implant that replaces the missing tooth in form and function. They’re also used to support a dental bridge, which is another way of replacing a missing tooth.
Do You Have A Persistent Toothache?
If so, you might have an infected tooth or a serious cavity. You should visit your dentist as soon as possible to have the problem identified and addressed. If your treatment requires that a crown be placed, Edgewood Dental and CEREC are your best bet for worry-free and convenient dental crowns that are designed, milled, and placed in a single appointment.
First time patients are usually able to be seen within a week of their initial call. We look forward to meeting you!
Dial 859-474-7830 now to reach the Edgewood Dental team and book your appointment today!