On-Site Dental Crown Technology Takes a Bite Out of Wait Time
If you’ve ever had a dental crown made and fitted, then you know that for a very long time, dental crown technology was cumbersome and remote, 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.
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 that is cemented onto the tooth to cover up any defects or decayed areas. Many patients will have a number of dental crowns throughout their lifetime, as they are 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, repairs to the gum tissue after teeth have been extracted, or scarring from wisdom teeth.
Digital Developments in Dental Crown Technology Bring Smiles Back Fast
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 are able to send digital images directly to the lab on the same day they’re taken. You can read more about additional improvements in digital imaging in our blog article, An Inside Look at Dental Technologies: Digital X-Ray Imaging.
There is no longer the need to take an impression of each patient’s teeth. All that’s needed is a simple clinical impression, which can be taken with a mould of your teeth and matched 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!