CEREC Same-Day Crowns

At Timberlake Dental, Dr. Chowning is committed to providing the latest technology so that you can have the best patient experience in our office.  One of the most common procedures performed in every dental office is a crown (also known as a cap).  A crown’s purpose is to completely cover and strengthen a tooth that has been weakened by a variety of things including: a large cavity, a fracture, a filling that composes more than 50% of the exposed tooth structure, or a root canal treatment.  A crown serves to protect a tooth in any of these situations, give it the best long-term prognosis, and restore it to normal function.

How is a traditional crown made?

In the past, a crown has been a two-visit dental procedure.  During the first visit, the dentist prepared the tooth for the crown by shaping it down to the proper dimensions, took an impression (mold) of the prepared tooth, and made a temporary crown that the patient wore over the tooth for 2-3 weeks.  In that time, a dental lab technician fabricated the permanent crown, usually in an off-site facility.  There are many problems that can present during the interim period while the tooth is covered with a temporary crown.  Temporary crowns can break, come off completely, or have the wrong contours, causing discomfort while wearing it.  Often, a patient would have to return to the dentist during the temporary crown phase to have it remade, recemented, or adjusted.

The second visit with your dentist involved removal of the temporary crown for the fitting of the permanent one.  Once the crown was correctly fitted to the prepared tooth, it was cemented into place and cleaned.

How does the CEREC Same-Day Crown system work?

The CEREC same-day crown system uses CAD/CAM 3D milling to allow Dr. Chowning to make your crown in the office in 20-30 minutes.  CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic, and was developed in 1980.  The first successful use of CEREC crowns on a patient was in 1985, which means there have been over 30 years of implementation and advancement of this system in dentistry.

The CEREC system uses three-dimensional technology in three parts: its intraoral scanning, its software in which the dentist designs the crown, and the milling machine itself.

  • The intraoral scanning creates a three-dimensional digital impression of the prepared tooth, the adjacent teeth, and the bite.
  • The CEREC software allows the dentist to digitally design the crown on a virtual model of the prepared tooth, creating the correct size, shape and contours for each individual tooth in all three dimensions.
  • The milling machine uses the digital information from the CEREC software to create the prescribed crown shape from a block of porcelain.

What does a typical CEREC dental appointment include?

A CEREC same-day crown appointment with Dr. Chowning is booked for about 2 hours.  The initial stages of your visit will be very similar to a traditional crown appointment.  Once the tooth is anesthetized, Dr. Chowning will prepare the tooth to the proper shape for restoration with a crown.  From there, the appointment is very different from a traditional crown.  Instead of a gooey impression, the tooth is scanned digitally with a wand-like instrument that takes hundreds of pictures, splicing them together to create a 3D model of the area being imaged.  Then you can relax, watch TV, read or play on your phone while your crown is designed and milled by the CEREC.  Many of our patients enjoy watching the milling process.  It is very interesting to see the small block of porcelain milled and shaped into a dental crown!

Once the CEREC milling machine completes the crown, it will be adjusted if necessary and fitted to your tooth.  From here, the process is the same as that of a traditional crown.  The fit is confirmed with an x-ray, and the crown is cemented to your tooth.  All excess cement is cleaned from the teeth and gums, and the process is complete.

What are the advantages of CEREC Same-Day crowns?

  • Only one dental visit required!
  • Less time spent in the dental chair.
  • No need for temporary crowns, and all of their accompanying problems.
  • Your crown is designed by your dentist, who is well acquainted with your teeth and bite, instead of a lab technician.
  • No gooey impressions!

Want to know more about CEREC Same-Day crowns?

Call the office at 940-382-1750 to set up a consultation with Dr. Chowning.  He and his staff will answer any of your questions about crowns and your specific dental needs.

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