What is a One Visit Crown?

Dentistry is rapidly changing and advancing as technology advances.  One of the advances in dental technology that we, at Timberlake Dental, love is the single visit crown.  It provides many advantages to both the dentist and the patient.

What is a Crown?

A crown is a dental treatment that restores a broken down tooth back to full shape and function.  Teeth need crowns for a variety of reasons, including large cavities, root canal treatments, and cracked teeth.  A crown covers the entire exposed portion of a tooth and replaces the tooth’s enamel.

Traditionally, a dental lab technician makes crowns in a dental lab outside the dentist’s office.  Advanced technology means that dentists can now make crowns inside the dental office in about a half hour.

How are One Visit Crowns Made?

Single visit crowns use two important types of technology to make the crown in the office: intraoral three-dimensional scanning and CAD/CAM milling.

The preparation of the tooth for a crown is the same for both lab-made crowns and in-office crowns.  Your dentist uses local anesthetic to numb the treatment area, and then he shapes the underlying tooth to allow for the proper contour and fit of the new crown.  Then, instead of taking a mold of the prepared tooth to send to the lab, Dr. Chowning uses a 3D intraoral scanner to capture a digital model of the tooth.  On this model, he then virtually designs the crown.  Once he finalizes the design, he sends it to the milling machine, which uses tiny drill bits to cut the perfect crown shape from a block of either porcelain or zirconia crown material.

This process takes about 30 minutes, during which you can comfortably wait in the dental chair.  Your dentist and dental assistant then fit the crown onto the prepared tooth, confirm the fit with an x-ray, and use permanent dental cement to attach it to your tooth.

All of this occurs during a single dental appointment.

What are the Advantages of One Visit Crowns?

The advantages to a single visit crown stem from all of the disadvantages of traditional crowns, which require two visits.

Obviously, a single dental visit saves you time.  You only have one appointment, and this appointment is shorter in length than the combined length of two separate appointments.

Traditional crowns require a temporary or provisional crown to cover the tooth during the lab fabrication period.  Provisional crowns can feel rough or uncomfortable to your bite or to the surrounding soft tissues.  They can also fall off, leading to pain and/or inconvenience.

Since your dentist is the one designing a single visit crown, it often fits better than traditional crowns.  Your dentist takes into account the shape of your soft tissues, which aren’t captured in a model sent to the lab.

Rather than having two adjustment periods, one for the temporary crown and one for the final crown, single visit crowns require less adjustment.  Patients find them more comfortable and easier to adjust to.

Do You Need a One Visit Crown?

Call Timberlake Dental at 940-382-1750 today to schedule a consultation with Dr. Chowning.  He can answer any question you have about dental crowns and show you our CEREC machine.  We love how one visit crowns meet our patients’ needs.

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