Feeling confident not only in your smile but the capacity of your teeth to handle everyday food and drink is imperative to daily life. Sometimes, however, your natural teeth need help and can lead to the need for various dental treatments, including crowns.
Dental crowns provide a solution for several issues, including to repair a cracked or broken tooth, stabilize a weakened tooth, protect a damaged tooth, or reinforce a tooth requiring a root canal.
With advancements in technology today, dental offices can offer quicker services, providing you with a new CEREC crown in just one visit. If you’re not already familiar with what CEREC crowns are, here are seven things to know.
1. What Is a CEREC Crown?
In the past, the common option was to wear a temporary crown while waiting for the manufacture of a more permanent one specifically designed to fit your mouth. Depending upon your location and particular circumstances, that could take anywhere from a week to two weeks or longer.
With CEREC crowns, however, the process involves state-of-the-art technology where computer-aided design and manufacturing are used to construct your new crown. This equipment is usually located onsite at your dentist’s office, allowing for the designing, creating, and placing of your new crown within a day.
2. What Is the CEREC Crown Placement Procedure?
Once you choose to proceed with a CEREC crown, there are a number of steps to go through before final placement.
- Dental Exam: It starts with a thorough dental exam, including checking for the amount of remaining healthy tooth structure.
- Tooth Preparation: Preparation of the tooth comes next, including anesthetizing the surrounding area for your comfort. Removal of weak tissue and decay occurs next, followed by drying the area.
- Digital Impressions and 3-D Model: Your dentist will then take digital impressions by inserting an intraoral camera in your mouth and capturing a digital scan of the tooth and surrounding structures. This camera connects to computer software, creating digital images that lead to a 3-D model of the tooth.
- Crown Creation: The CEREC machine then creates the customizable dental crown, which can take as little as 15 minutes.
- Crown Fitting: Finally, your dentist ensures a proper fit and bite before the crown is cemented in place and polished.
3. How Will a CEREC Crown Look and Feel?
CEREC crowns are made of a durable enamel-like ceramic material and will feel like your natural teeth once polished.
CEREC crowns also fit in nicely with natural teeth, creating a seamless look, including color, shape, and structure.
The crown’s color is matched as close as possible to your original tooth color. In addition, those crowns serving as front teeth receive special attention to ensure they match the surrounding teeth, so you can smile confidently.
4. Are There Differences Between Traditional and CEREC Crowns?
In general, whether it is a traditional or CEREC crown, it can help improve your smile, protect teeth, and restore functionality.
There are, however, differences between traditional and CEREC crowns you need to know about, so you can make the best decision for yourself.
The differences start with the available material of the crown itself. CEREC crowns are limited to ceramic only.
Traditional crowns offer more variety, such as porcelain, resin, ceramic, metal, or zirconia. These traditional crowns can also be fused to each other if necessary, including porcelain to metal.
As mentioned previously, the second difference concerns the amount of time required for your crown. While the design, creation, and placement of a CEREC crown can happen within a single day, this is not so with the more traditional crowns.
Expect to need two or more appointments for non-CEREC crowns, and the process will usually involve the following:
- Dentist diagnosis of the need for a crown and selection of type
- Examination and preparation of tooth, including x-rays, filing, and, if necessary, partial removal of the outer layer of the tooth.
- Dental Impressions, using dental plaster, of tooth and surrounding teeth.
- Fitting of a temporary crown while an exterior lab creates your new crown, which can take up to two weeks or more.
- A second appointment for the removal of the temporary crown and placement/bonding of new traditional crown.
5. What Are the Overall Benefits of CEREC Crowns?
The advantages or benefits of CEREC crowns include:
- Overall convenience and timeliness of the design and procedure, often completed in just one visit.
- Avoidance of having to wear a temporary crown while waiting for the permanent one, which can come loose while eating or grinding teeth as you sleep at night, prompting another visit to your dentist.
- Eliminating the need for uncomfortable and messy dental impressions due to the use of digital scanning equipment
- Durability, as much as similar traditional crowns made of different materials.
6. How Do You Care for CEREC Crowns?
Once in place, your CEREC crown will be long-lasting. Caring for it requires much the same as your natural teeth, including:
- Brush two times each day with a soft-bristle toothbrush and, if the area is still sensitive, use a specialized toothpaste.
- Floss gently between crown and other teeth, hugging each side and moving up and down to remove any trapped bacteria or food particles which can lead to decay.
- Avoid biting down on harder objects, such as ice or hard candy, as this can lead to cracks. While CEREC crowns are strong and durable, they are not as strong as your natural teeth and are more at risk for damage.
7. Are CEREC Crowns Available for Everyone?
Despite the many advantages of CEREC crowns, in some instances, certain circumstances may limit their availability, including the following.
- Unavailable in Your Location: CEREC equipment is not always available in every dental office. Stile Dental Care, however, is happy to offer this service to our patients. Dr. Stiles has the extensive training needed to work the necessary equipment to ensure your crown is the best it can be and in less time.
- May Not Be Covered by Insurance: Dental insurance rarely covers 100% of dental crown needs. Contact your insurance provider to determine what is and isn’t covered. Here at Stiles Dental Care, we offer viable financial options to help if needed also.
- Unsuitable for Certain Needs: Since everyone is unique, there may be circumstances where CEREC crowns are not suitable for certain needs. Consultation with your dentist is necessary to ensure you are making the right choice for your oral health.
Schedule an Appointment with Stiles Dental Care for all Your Dental Crown Needs
If you or cherished family members have questions concerning CEREC or other types of crowns, please call and speak with our knowledgeable team today. We will gladly schedule an appointment to discuss your options and determine if CEREC crowns are right for you. Contact our dental office today to get started.