It always happens when you least expect it, and usually at the most inconvenient time possible. You wake up with a throbbing toothache and discover you need a root canal the day before a big job interview.
An errant golf ball hits you and breaks a tooth two days before your daughter’s wedding. You fall and chip one of your front teeth in the morning, and have to give a big speech later that night.
Dental problems never occur at opportune moments. So, what do you do when these problems occur, and you need to have all of your teeth looking perfect in just a short time?
Whether you need to cover a root canal or repair a chipped or broken tooth, if you need it done in a hurry, then a one-visit porcelain crown created by Dr. Nikki Green, using CAD/CAM technology, may provide the best option for you.
To learn more about CEREC® crowns and the technology we use to create them, or to schedule an appointment with Dr. Green, call our Ft. Worth, TX, dental office today.
What Are One-Visit Crowns?
Dr. Green creates CEREC® same-day crowns right in our office, typically in just one visit. CEREC® stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, or CEramic REConstruction. The CEREC® system consists of an Acquisition unit, which holds a CEREC® camera and computer, CEREC® proprietary software, and an in-house milling machine.
The doctor takes a picture of the patient’s tooth with the camera, then uses the CEREC® software to turn the picture into a digital 3D model on the computer. The doctor uses this model to create the patient’s new crown, sending her design to the milling unit. She inserts a block of porcelain into the unit and, with the click of a button, the unit begins fabricating a brand new shiny dental crown, ready to be bonded to the patient’s troublesome tooth right away.
If a patient has completely lost his tooth, the doctor can use the CEREC® system in conjunction with our exclusive Galileos 3D Imaging system to create and place an implant and restoration with expert precision in just one visit. Dr. Green can even complete several restorations in one visit with the CEREC® system.
When Do You Need a Crown?
Dr. Green generally places dental crowns to help protect damaged teeth. If a patient has one or more teeth damaged by severe decay, gum disease, accident, or facial trauma, the doctor can place a crown to help keep the tooth from suffering further damage.
A dental crown will also restore a natural, healthy looking smile to the patient’s face. Occasionally, a patient may have a cavity so large that the existing tooth structure can no longer support a filling. In this case, Dr. Green can replace the filling with a dental crown, providing structure and durability to the tooth, while preventing the tooth from suffering further damage.
Some patients who have lost one or more teeth may opt for a dental bridge to replace the tooth. Most dental bridges have crowns on either end that fit over the teeth on each side of the gap, holding the bridge securely in place.
Dr. Green sometimes uses dental crowns in situations other than repairing teeth. When the doctor performs a root canal, she often uses a dental crown to cover the site of the treatment after cleaning out the tooth. She can also use a crown to restore a dental implant.
Dental implants replace the roots of teeth that a patient has lost or had extracted due to disease, decay, or injury. The implants fuse together with the bone in the patient’s jaw as they heal, providing a stable anchor for restorations.
Once they have healed, the doctor places restorations on the implants to replace the missing tooth or teeth. When she uses an implant to replace a single tooth, the doctor uses a dental crown to restore it and provide the patient with a beautiful smile.
What Are Dental Crowns Made From?
For over a century, dentists provided patients with crowns made from several different metals, including gold, silver, and metal amalgams. Metal crowns provided excellent durability and had the ability to withstand most biting and chewing forces without chipping or breaking.
Because of their composition, the dentist did not have to remove as much of the tooth’s original structure for these crowns to fit. Aesthetically, however, metal crowns ultimately proved undesirable because they presented dark spots on the patient’s otherwise bright smile.
As dental technology advanced through the years, dentists have found that they can provide structure and protection to damaged teeth while maintaining a natural tooth color by using dental crowns made of porcelain or porcelain-fused-to-metal.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal, or PFM, crowns provide a more ideal aesthetic appearance, while still offering the protection and durability of metal crowns. However, these crowns can quickly wear down opposing teeth and lead to a dark line at the gums where the porcelain and metal meet.
Porcelain crowns provide patients with the most cosmetically pleasing appearance, combined with great durability, making them the most popular material on the market for creating dental crowns. The ceramic material closely matches the color of natural teeth, while mimicking the translucence and reflectivity of tooth enamel, giving it a very natural appearance, and allowing it to blend right in to a patient’s smile.
Porcelain crowns are also stain resistant, so patients will not have to worry about using whitening treatments to keep them looking clean and white. Best of all, in just one visit, Dr. Green can design and create the perfect ceramic dental crown for your smile right in our office, with the use of CEREC® technology.
When Would You Need A One-Visit Crowns?
Most of the time, when you go to a dentist needing a crown, you have to wait two to three weeks to get it. The dentist has to prepare the tooth for the crown, then take impressions that have to be sent to an offsite lab, where a technician you will never meet will follow the design and manufacture the crown.
The dentist will provide you with a temporary crown to wear while you wait, but temporary crowns rarely match your natural tooth color, and can appear very obvious, especially when used for front teeth. Many patients have problems with temporary crowns falling out at inopportune moments, as well.
With CEREC® technology, Dr. Green can create your crown right away, meaning you won’t have to suffer through two weeks with an embarrassing temporary crown. Whether you need your tooth repaired for an interview tomorrow or a wedding next week, you can rest assured that you will have a custom designed crown that matches the natural shading of your teeth and fits virtually indistinguishably into your gorgeous smile.
You will find that, on some occasions, Dr. Green may recommend using a dental lab to create your crown. If a crown is repairing one of your front teeth, and the ceramic blocks with the CEREC® system do not match your natural tooth color perfectly, she may send her design to a reputable offsite lab, where a trained ceramist can match the shading exactly and craft a perfect crown. Patients who wish to have a crown made from a material other than porcelain will have their crown made in a lab as well.
Call Today for a Consultation
If you would like to know more about CAD/CAM technology and one-visit crowns, call our Ft. Worth dental office today and schedule a consultation with Dr. Green.