Discover the one-visit dental crown
Traditionally, there was a lot of rigmarole involved in getting a dental crown. Once upon a time, patients needed to come in for multiple appointments. The affected tooth was prepared and a mould was taken of the tooth before being sent away to a lab. The technician made the crown, and the patient left with a temporary crown, which may not fall out).
After two to three weeks, the technician sent back a completed crown. The patient returned, and the temporary crown was removed and replaced with the permanent crown. Here, the permanent crown was cemented in place. Happily, owing to new technologies, the need for temporary crowns is now eliminated. You can get a crown in around two hours.
When you might need a dental crown
Before tackling the new technologies, it’s worth addressing the situations in which you may need a crown. These days, crowns are made of ceramic or porcelain material, which are both hard and durable. A crown is bonded to a tooth, which helps hold the tooth together when there’s a crack or large of fillings.
In some cases, if a tooth has had a root canal, we’re worried about it breaking. Here, a crown may be used to help hold it together. In both situations a crown prolongs the tooth’s life and gives it as much strength as possible
Digital scanning machines radically cut down crown-making time
Owing to new technologies, the whole process for making crowns has been greatly simplified. Now, crowns can be made using digital scanning machines. In our practice, we use a CEREC machine, which produces a digital scan of the affected tooth, the opposing tooth and all the surrounding tissues.
From that, we digitally design the crown that’s going to go over the relevant tooth. That image is sent to a milling machine that we have just down the hall. It grinds the crown out of a ceramic block.
Next, we check that fits perfectly. It’s usually only a couple of minutes to make sure we get a really nice fit. Once the crown is fitted, depending on the materials involved, it’s either glazed or put in a ceramic furnace. The crown is then polished and cemented in place.
All up, including crowns that require firing, the process can be completed in around two hours. That’s the whole appointment from go to woe. Rest assured, about half that time is spent waiting for us to complete the various procedures that happen outside of your mouth. It’s not two hours of having to lie there with your mouth open!
Patients love the concept of getting a dental crown in one visit. The feedback is unfailingly positive. Although no-one enjoys coming to see us that often, only having to come once—and only being numbed up once—is a blessing. Also, there’s none of the previous worry attached to temporary crowns: the new one-visit crown won’t fall out.
The other plus is that the materials involved in the crown are exactly the same as crowns made using the traditional method. It’s the same standard of materials involved; the fit tolerances are fantastic, and there’s no compromise in quality. It’s all just delivered in a single appointment.