Digital Technology to Help in Making Dental Crowns Brings Smiles Back Faster
For a very long time, dental crown technology was cumbersome, requiring a multi-step, multi-week process. Today, the process is digitized and in many cases, it’s even on-site in the office, which speeds things up and simplifies them dramatically. If you’ve ever had a dental crown made and fitted, then you will be happy to know about the improvements and options you have access to with our practice.
What Are Dental Crowns and Why Are They Needed?
Just in case you haven’t yet needed a dental crown, we thought we’d better step back to cover the basics like “what is it?” and “why might I need one?”
A dental crown is a restoration structure cemented onto the tooth to cover up any defects or decayed areas. It is a highly versatile solution to a variety of dental problems, including a root canal, decayed or missing teeth, cracks in the teeth caused by tooth decay or other damage, teeth worn down teeth, damaged fillings, repairs to the gum tissue after teeth have been extracted, or scarring from wisdom teeth. Many patients will have a number of dental crowns throughout their lifetime.
Digital Imaging Expedites Development for Making Dental Crowns
The latest dental crown technology incorporates three specific areas of improvement:
- Digital Imaging
- Clinical Impressions
- On-Site Design & Milling
The latest digital imaging upgrade in dental crown technology means we don’t need to create film images to send to the lab, which traditionally added a few days to the process. Instead, we can send digital images directly to the lab on the same day we take them. You can read more about additional improvements in digital imaging in our blog article, Digital Dental X-Rays: An Inside Look at Dental Technologies.
We no longer need to take an impression of each patient’s teeth. All that’s needed is a simple clinical impression, which we can take with a mould of your teeth and match it to the patient’s existing teeth. This also makes the process of making dental crowns much more efficient.
On-Site Design & Milling
On-site design and milling is the other major upgrade in making dental crowns. This can save a great deal of time in the process, but it’s only available on a limited basis at this time. Housed in our Romeoville office, the CEREC® machine enables us to provide all of our patients with great-looking crowns in one visit.
It also allows us to digitally design dental crowns using digital images from our computers. Once it’s designed, the CEREC mill forms the crown using strong ceramic material and shapes it to fit perfectly in your mouth. It only takes about 20 minutes, if you can believe that! Then we just confirm the fit before cementing it in place, and you’re good to go. It’s a dramatic improvement!
But this isn’t the only option. Traditional services requiring a temporary crown, some wait time, and a second appointment to put the crown in place when it’s ready also is available.