How Long Does it Take to Get a Dental Crown?
The first question I often hear after recommending a dental crown to my patients is, “How long will this take?!”
If you’ve ever needed a crown, then you can understand why this question is so common. A broken or problematic tooth can be painful, annoying, and disrupt your daily life. Finding a way to fix the issue as quickly as possible is usually top of mind.
Thankfully, I always have a great answer for my patients. Here at Batchelor Dentistry, we utilize a state-of-the-art dental technology called CEREC. CEREC makes getting a dental crown as easy (and quick) as stopping by our office during your lunch break.
In today’s blog post, we’ll take a closer look at dental crowns. I’ll help you better understand a why you might need one, how they work, and what to expect from your CEREC same-day crown procedure.
If you are facing a dental emergency like a broken tooth or sports accident, please give us a call now! We offer emergency dental care in the Harrisonburg, Virginia area.
What is A Dental Crown?
A dental crown is essentially a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over the surface of a broken or damaged tooth. The crown is meant to restore the structure, shape, size, function, and appearance of the tooth. This crown is cemented into place and fully covers the entire visible area of a tooth.
Reasons Why You Might Need a Dental Crown
There are two main reasons why you may need a dental crown. Either you are dealing with a cosmetic issue, or you need a crown for functional reasons. Sometimes, it’s a combination of both!
A dental crown can cover up a tooth that is aesthetically unappealing. For example, the tooth is crooked or severely discolored, or if a tooth is broken due to a sports accident or other injury.
A dental crown may be necessary to help restore the functionality of a tooth. For example, to protect or hold together a damaged or weakened tooth, to replace a missing tooth (the crown covers the dental implant), or restore a tooth following a root canal.
Understanding The Process for Traditional Dental Crowns
In order to appreciate the value of a CEREC same-day crown, it’s helpful to understand the traditional process of getting a dental crown.
For many years, dental crowns were a time consuming, cumbersome, and annoying procedure. In fact, before CEREC, going to the dentist for a crown was (at least) a two-appointment procedure spanning up to several weeks! That process included:
- Dental x-rays and other imaging to finalize a diagnosis
- Numbing the tooth
- Making an impression or mold of the tooth, which is a gooey and annoying process
- Sending the mold to an outside lab to make the crown
- Fitting you with a temporary crown while you wait for the permanent one
- Visiting the dentist again and finally getting the crown cemented into place
Thankfully, with the evolution of dental technology and the development of CEREC, this long, drawn-out process is no longer necessary. Keep in mind though, not all dentists provide this incredible technology to patients!
What is CEREC?
CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic and is a computer-aided design and manufacturing technology. CEREC combines a camera, computer, and milling machine into one instrument, allowing the entire dental crown procedure to be completed right there in your dentist’s office while you wait.
How Does CEREC Work?
So how can a procedure that traditionally took take days (sometimes weeks) to perform now be completed in under two hours? How does it work?
First, the CEREC software takes a digital picture of your damaged tooth. Next, it converts the image into a virtual model. From there, your dentist will use the CEREC model to design your restoration. Then with a click of a button, a ceramic block matching the shade of your tooth is carved into the exact shape and specifications needed.
Once your dentist ensures the crown fits properly in your mouth and will function correctly, the restoration is polished and bonded to your tooth. All of this is completed in one simple visit to the dentist!
Does Getting a CEREC Crown Hurt?
No! Part of getting a dental crown is preparing your damaged tooth for the restoration. This step of the process is very important and will often take the most time to complete.
Your dentist will need to remove decayed and weakened tooth structure and shape the tooth to prepare it for the crown. However, your dentist will always administer an anesthetic before working on the tooth to ensure your complete comfort.
How Long Does it Take to Get a CEREC Crown?
Here at Batchelor Dentistry, we typically advise our patients to set aside 2 hours for a CEREC crown procedure. Many of our patients schedule their appointment during an extended lunch break. Compared to the multiple visits and weeks of waiting required with traditional crowns, we think this is pretty amazing!
How to Take Care of a CEREC Same-Day Crown
CEREC crowns are just as strong and durable as typical crowns and require the same level of care as your original teeth.
With twice a day brushing and daily flossing combined with visiting the dentist every 6 months, your CEREC same-day crown will last for years. Plus, thanks to their ceramic, natural coloring, CEREC crowns give you a beautiful smile you can be proud of.
Have More Questions About Getting a Dental Crown?
Are CEREC crowns right for you? Here at Batchelor Dentistry, we’ll help you understand your options and how CEREC can help you achieve a happier, healthier smile.
If you’d like to learn more about CEREC same-day crowns, click here. Or give us a call at (540) 432-9992. We’d love to answer all your questions and explain why we recommend CEREC to so many of our patients.