If you need a crown, there’s a high likelihood that you have a serious dental issue, and you probably also have some questions about your options. Here at Santa Monica Bay Dental, in Santa Monica, California, our team of experts is always happy to answer your questions in the context of your situation. We hope that this post is useful in helping you understand the use of crowns, as well as the benefits of same-day dentistry.
The many uses of a dental crown
Your dentist may suggest you need a dental crown for lots of reasons. A cracked or damaged tooth, a stained or discolored tooth, or a worn-out tooth can all be addressed with a crown. A crown is also typically used with a dental implant, or to hold a dental bridge in place.
A crown is essentially a tooth-shaped and tooth-colored cap that can cover your existing tooth, lending it strength and stability, or be attached to an implant, providing a prosthetic tooth. Crowns can be made out of several different materials, including metal, resin, ceramic, porcelain, or a combination of porcelain and metal. Here, we use ceramic to make crowns.
The traditional process for getting a crown
Regardless of the reason you need a crown, the traditional process has included a couple of steps. First, your dentist prepares the tooth or the site where the crown will be, then takes impressions of your mouth from which the permanent crown will be made. After that, you’re fitted with a temporary crown.
The impressions are sent to a lab, and you wear the temporary crown until the permanent crown comes back from the lab. You’ll then come to the office for a second appointment, at which the permanent crown is placed. Temporary crowns are not terribly comfortable because they are generic. Most people don’t especially enjoy the wait for their crown!
The difference with CEREC
With CEREC, there’s no temporary crown, and therefore no wait. We offer CEREC crowns that are made for you as you wait, meaning only one appointment. We make your crown in our office and permanently place it before you leave.
CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics or CERamic REConstruction. And, indeed, a CEREC crown is ceramic, milled in the office — chairside — and is an economical way to restore a damaged, broken, or missing tooth.
Computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) are the technologies that allow CEREC to work so well. Instead of using impressions to make your crown, we use digital images.
CEREC crowns are natural looking and are a reliable tooth replacement. Unlike metal crowns, ceramic crowns aren’t obvious. And, as long as you care for it properly, it should last for many years.
If you need a crown and you’d like to learn more about CEREC and the benefits of same-day dentistry, schedule an appointment at Santa Monica Bay Dental. We’re happy to discuss your situation and make an appropriate recommendation for you.