Nowadays, the majority of people are extremely busy balancing multiple things at once. With such a busy schedule, you were barely able to make the time for your dental checkup and now your dentist is telling you that you need a dental crown. Considering the simple fact that you don’t want to use all your time off of work at the dentist’s office, you dread having to come in for multiple restoration appointments.
But then your dentist tells you something amazing. Their office is equipped to fabricate a dental crown while you wait. This means that you can have the entire procedure done in a single dental appointment, which will save you a great deal of much needed time. At this point though, you are probably wondering how long a same-day crown takes.
On average, a same-day dental crown can be fabricated in as little as 60 to 90 minutes. While your dental crown is being fabricated, most dentists will give you the option of waiting in their office or coming back later to have the final restoration placed. There are two CAD/CAM systems that may be used: CEREC and E4D. Both systems are highly similar, however the E4D approach uses a special laser to obtain images, which eliminates the step of applying reflective powder to the teeth.
In order to place a same-day crown, your tooth will first need to be prepared. Your dentist will anesthetize the tooth to keep you comfortable and may offer varying levels of dental sedation if you have dental anxiety. Then, the affected tooth is reduced in size and shaped with a dental drill so that a dental crown can be placed over the top. This is a necessary step to ensure that the crown will not affect your bite once it is in place.
After your tooth is prepared, a digital scan will be taken of your mouth. If your dental office uses CEREC, then a reflective powder will first need to be applied to the teeth. As mentioned before, this powder does not need to be applied with an E4D system. The images of your teeth are used to create a virtual model of your tooth so that the appropriate color, contour, and biting surface can be determined.
This information is then sent to the in-office milling machine to begin fabricating your dental crown. Milling machines will use multiple burs to cut into blocks of either porcelain, composite, or lithium disilicate in order to shape your dental crown. In about 20 minutes, the shaping process is complete and the crown is then stained and glazed for about 15-20 minutes before being fired for about 15 minutes.
Once the dental crown has cooled, your dentist will inspect it before placing it in your mouth to check the fit. Minor adjustments may be made and then the final crown will be cemented to your tooth. Because this a permanent crown, you will not need to return for future appointments. In this way, same-day crowns save you valuable time, while providing you with a durable restoration.