Why Opt for Same Day Crowns?

Published by Cashion Dental on February 28, 2016

When one or more of your teeth are badly damaged but not to the point of needing to be extracted, capping it with a crown is often the best way to protect it from further deterioration and to strengthen it for further use. No matter what kind of crown you choose, decayed portions of your tooth will need to be removed, the top of the tooth shaved down to prepare the way for the crown, and the crown fixed into place with some form of dental cement. The choice between traditional (lab-made) and same-day crowns differs very much in other respects, however.

Below, we give a short description of what same-day crowns are, followed by a list of their major benefits. Although there are a few situations in which same-day crowns may not be ideal, we contend that the evidence is overwhelmingly in their favor as being the best option in the large majority of cases.

What Are Same-Day Crowns?
Same day crowns are a system of crown-formation and installation that utilizes CEREC technology, some of the most advanced of all modern dental equipment. Sirona Dental Systems is responsible for both CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) equipment and the corresponding CEREC system. Not all dental offices (only 10% to 15%) have CEREC equipment (and a dentist trained and certified to use it).

The same-day crown process begins with your dentist moving a “wand” with a tiny camera on its tip along your teeth to create 3D pictures of your mouth that are then displayed on a chairside monitor. CEREC software suggests a crown design, but the dentist can use his/her experience to tweak it slightly where appropriate. When the crown is correctly mapped, the dentist sends the information to a milling machine with a simple click of the mouse.

Using the data from the CAD (Computer-Aided Design) software, the CAM (Computer-Aided Manufacturing) milling unit automatically carves your crowns out of a ceramic block in only about an hour’s time. CEREC-milled (same-day) crowns have been subjected to over a decade’s worth of clinical testing and have a proven track record of precision, safety, and durability.

What Are the Benefits of Same Day Crowns?
There are many and diverse benefits to using same day crowns, but the seven most important of them are as follows:

  • Faster and More Convenient: The entire same-day crowns process takes only a few hours to complete and is done during a single dental appointment. This saves both time and an extra trip to the dentist, which is a significant benefit for those with busy schedules. No longer do patients lose two days of work or vacation to take care of their crowns.
  • No Temporary Crowns Are Involved: Temporary crowns complicate the process, are often unsightly and uncomfortable to wear, and require a second dental visit after a 2-3 week wait. All this is eliminated by using same-day crowns.
  • Natural-Looking Aesthetics: There are over 17 shades of realistic tooth-mimicking colors to choose from with same-day crowns. All associated fillings are also natural in appearance, and there are no black lines circling the gums. Also, since teeth are not actually a single color throughout, dentists doing same-day crowns can use a small “touch-up brush” to adjust the coloration from the gumline to the tip in a way that resembles a natural tooth. On this last point, admittedly, front teeth may sometimes be better done the traditional route since lab-made, layered ceramic will match the different hues of different parts of a tooth a little better, but same-day crowns do it extremely well also while having other aesthetic advantages that traditional crowns lack.
  • Superior Customization: The CAD software and CAM precision cutting ability mean that same-day crowns give you a superior custom fit. Each mouth and each tooth is slightly different than all others, and the exact way one tooth lines up against adjacent teeth is also important. A closer match to the contours of your original tooth results in a better bite pattern. Furthermore, the fact that CEREC equipment is conveniently on-site (unlike a dental lab) makes it much more practical to take the time to make even the tiniest adjustments for a perfect fit.
  • Greater Comfort: The comfort advantage of same day crowns begins immediately since no dental putty needs to be put into your mouth to take impressions. All relevant data is captured digitally instead. The material of same day crowns (ceramic) is extremely compatible with mouth tissues, having many of the same properties as tooth enamel. You get a natural feel and crowns that expand/contract with temperatures to prevent any problems when sensitive teeth are crowned.
  • Longer Durability: Ceramic same-day crowns simply outlast most traditional crowns and have great strength that minimizes the risk of a broken tooth due to teeth-clenching or hard biting. Only gold crowns are stronger, but they are also more visible and fall short on other points. Same-day crowns also minimize the amount of healthy tooth tissue that must be removed to put on a crown, which helps keep teeth as strong and natural as possible.
  • Comparable Costs: Although same-day crowns may cost a little more than many types of traditional crowns, they often do not cost a huge amount more. Part of what tends to level the playing field is that, although the machinery for same-day crowns is expensive, the lab costs are eliminated. Additionally, same-day crowns are typically covered by most of the same dental insurance policies that cover traditional crowns.

Same-day crowns are on the cutting edge of dental technology, are superior to lab-made crowns in most instances, and do not generally cost much (if any) more than “two-day crowns.”