A crown is a common restorative dental procedure. It is a synthetic covering that replaces the damaged section of a tooth, above the gumline. Your dentist may recommend a crown if the natural tooth is broken or excessively worn down. A dental crown is also a common follow-up solution after a root canal or when you get a dental implant (which replaces a tooth root).
Crowns come in a variety of materials, including but not limited to porcelain, metal, and resin. A traditional crown requires at least 2 visits to your dentist, and it involves a temporary crown before you get the permanent one 2 to 3 weeks after the first appointment. There is now a single-visit type of crown, the CEREC type, which is usually made of sturdy ceramic and relies on computer-assisted technology.
One-Visit Dental Crown Process
A CEREC dental crown requires a single dentist appointment, which generally takes 2 hours. Your provider will use an intraoral camera and computer-assisted design process to render a 3D image of the tooth that needs replacement. They will use this model for the CEREC machine to create the custom-made crown at their office.
Similar to a traditional crown, your dentist will prepare your tooth and secure the new crown on it. One-visit crowns don’t require extra steps in your oral hygiene routine. You can brush and floss as you do your other teeth, and you still need to go to your dentist for regular checkups.
Benefits of One-Visit Dental Crowns
The biggest advantage of one-visit dental crowns is their convenience with a single appointment. This is more practical to fit into a busy schedule. The same-day crown process is more comfortable since you don’t have to deal with a temporary crown between visits, and your dentist uses a digital imaging method to make a model for the crown instead of traditional dental impressions.
The whole process, including crown construction, happens at your dentist’s office. CEREC crowns usually look as natural as traditional ones. The sturdy ceramic used to create them provides reliable and lasting tooth restoration that resists abrasion well.
Disadvantages of One-Visit Dental Crowns
While same-day crowns work for most patients, they aren’t suitable for everyone, and your dentist will determine whether you are a good candidate. If your damaged tooth is fractured below the gumline, for example, it can be difficult to get a good picture of it with just the imaging camera (compared to x-rays used for traditional crowns). Single-visit crowns don’t have a range of shades as wide as the lab-created ones, which may be an issue if you need it for a front tooth.
If you need dental work (whether a root canal or treatment for gum disease) before getting your crown, your dentist will need to take care of that first, regardless of the type of crown you get, which can add extra appointments.
Same-day crowns may not last as long as traditional ones because ceramic can be more sensitive to wear-and-tear than metal or porcelain. They may also cost more than traditional crowns. The most significant drawback is their availability as not every dental practice has the necessary equipment and training. Our Access Dental practice offers traditional crowns that require two visits.