Caring for your teeth and gums is the first step in maintaining good oral health and a confident smile. Yet, even if you brush and floss daily, you may still need a dental restoration for a variety of reasons. One of the most common of these restorations is a dental crown.
While crowns have been around for a long time, today’s newest technologies are making them even better and the procedure itself faster. Same-day crowns, known as CEREC crowns, are growing in popularity. We tell you more about them below, including how long they will last.
What Are CEREC Crowns?
As with other types of crowns, the main purpose for the CEREC crown is to protect a damaged or weakened tooth. It is a permanent restoration option to replace what remains of a natural tooth.
Short for Chairside Economic Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, CEREC crowns are crafted out of a high-quality, durable ceramic material that is natural-looking and blends in with your other teeth.
These crowns can be completed in just one appointment, thanks to the newest CEREC technology found at many dental offices across the country today. This technology includes advanced imaging techniques, 3D designs, and CAD machines.
The many benefits of CEREC crowns include:
- Involves a convenient treatment, providing full tooth restoration in one visit
- Avoids the messy process that occurs with the taking of traditional impressions
- Eliminates the need for a temporary crown to be worn while the permanent one is being made
- Removes the long wait to complete a permanent fitting
- Increases accuracy and precision, providing a better fit for patients
What is the Procedure for Getting a CEREC Crown?
Preparation of a tooth for crown placement usually requires some removal of damaged or decayed areas. It will most likely also need slight shaping to accommodate the cap-shaped restoration, which fits over top. Your dentist will determine when and how this will be done prior to the CEREC procedure.
As for the CEREC procedure itself, it usually only requires one appointment, whereas traditional crowns require several before completion. Knowing what to expect can help lower any dental anxiety you may feel and also help you plan to have it done sooner rather than later.
Once you arrive at your dentist’s office for the scheduled CEREC crown appointment, your dental team will commence capturing images of your tooth (or teeth if more than one) with a specialized digital camera. These digital images are immediately sent to a computer monitor nearby, where 3D imaging software will piece them together to create a model. There is no need for mouth trays with sticky dental putty for making impressions to send to a dental lab.
Once the software completes the 3D model of the tooth, it is used to create the crown in a CAD machine located in the dentist’s office. The crown itself is made of a ceramic material that is aesthetically pleasing and durable. Once created, your dentist will clean and sterilize the new CEREC crown before adjusting the fit and bonding it to your prepared tooth.
How Long Do CEREC Crowns Last?
When it comes to how long a CEREC crown will last, much will depend on your daily usage, such as when chewing, and on your oral hygiene practices. However, on average, your crown will last somewhere around 10-15 years.
You can, however, help extend the life of your CEREC crown by taking measures like the following:
- Brush twice daily, each time for at least two minutes. (While the CEREC crown itself is not prone to decay thanks to its ceramic makeup, the supporting tooth underneath still needs care.)
- Floss around the crown at least one time per day. (Flossing helps to remove trapped food particles between the crown and gum and also eliminates germs.)
- Limit or avoid altogether sticky or hard foods which can damage the crown as well as the surrounding teeth.
- Break the habit of using your teeth as helpful tools for opening bottle caps or packaging.
- Avoid biting your fingernails.
- Resist chewing on ice.
- Wear a mouthguard if you know you grind your teeth while you sleep (bruxism), as this grinding can eventually chip, crack, or break your crown.
- Prioritize the scheduling of routine dental cleanings and exams, so your dentist can regularly check on the fit and condition of the crown.
Contact Stiles Dental Care Today for All You Dental Restoration Needs
Every patient’s mouth is unique, and finding the right dental restoration is essential. Our team here at Stiles Dental Care will take the time to explain what options are available and which ones may be right for you to achieve better dental health. CEREC crowns can be created and fitted in just one appointment with our team, so find out today if this is an option for you. Contact us by calling 609-654-0033 to schedule an appointment or consultation today.