Benefits of Same-Day Crowns
The Advancements in Dentistry
One of the coolest things in dentistry that we have now is we can make a crown in one appointment. And probably the coolest thing about that is the materials that we use are the same that we’d use if we sent it off to the lab.
No Second Appointment Needed
So the process is a little bit different, and it’s a little bit longer on the front end, but the nice result is there’s no second appointment, there’s no temporary crown. You don’t have to worry about it breaking or coming off, and we can pretty much start to finish, do the whole thing in about two hours, and the majority of that time is you just sitting back and relaxing while I fiddle around with my computer and make it perfect.
The Process of Getting Same-Day Crowns
What Does the Process Look Like?
So the process is not for every tooth. In our practice, we generally work on posterior teeth, so basically, teeth towards the back, not in that interior aesthetic zone. And the reason for that is because we can make them look really nice and natural in the back of the mouth.
Limitations to Consider
Your Appointment Day
So how this works is you come in for your appointment, and the first thing we do is get you numb. We don’t want you to feel anything. We want you to be able to relax and just enjoy the appointment. So after we get you numb, we remove enough tooth structure to protect the underlying tooth, ensure there’s no decay, and make enough space for the crown material.
Crown Design and Creation
Virtual Model Design
After that, we do a digital scan with a camera that captures multiple images, allowing us to create a virtual model. And so chairside, you’ll be sitting right here, and we’ll design your crown. So it’s kind of like Photoshop for teeth. So, we take those images and create a virtual model. And on that model, we actually design out your permanent crown.
Computer Technology in Dentistry
And it’s really neat because in the last 15 years or so, computer technology has gotten amazingly better, and the imaging of the cameras has gotten better.
Shaping the Tooth to Perfection
So we can actually design down to almost the micron level to make sure the margins are closed, ensure everything is perfect, and have complete control over the anatomy of the tooth.
Crafting Your Permanent Crown
The Ceramic Block Process
After we design that out, the process is pretty neat. Our crown actually starts as a solid block of ceramic that we plug into our machine, and then the burrs will come up, and they’ll actually whittle out your permanent crown. And this material is so strong that if we were to try and do that at full strength, it would take a couple of hours, and nobody has that time.
Glazing and Cooling
So we do it in what’s called a three-quarter strength block. So it comes out, we try it in, make sure it fits, make sure we love it, make sure everything looks right, and then we take it, we put a nice glazed layer on it, and we put it in our ceramics oven, and that oven gets up to really hot, like over 1500 degrees Celsius, so we definitely want to give it time to cool down.
Bonding in Place
So the whole cooling cycle and heating cycle is about 15 minutes. Once we get that back, we’ll have your nice tooth-colored crown; we’ll put it in and make sure you love it, make sure we love it. Then, we bond it in place with an adhesive cement that allows us to attach the inside of the crown to your tooth. So, it creates a biological seal that doesn’t allow bacteria to sneak under there. And with that adhesive bond, we’re not actually just relying on the cement to hold it; it’s actually attached to the tooth. So, that increases longevity and the lifespan of the process.
Comfort and Recovery
Will It Hurt?
So, as I said, start to finish, it’s about two hours, and the majority of that is downtime, about 10 to 15 minutes to mill it out, and then about 10 to 15 minutes in the oven. So the whole process, start to finish, is two hours, and you leave with a permanent tooth-colored restoration to protect your tooth.
Front Teeth Considerations
So a lot of people ask, is it going to hurt? And that’s a great question, and that’s the reason why we always get you nice and numb so you don’t feel anything through the whole process. Afterward, the tooth might be a little tender, and the tissue might be a little sore if we had to manipulate or push it around, but it’s usually nothing that an Advil I room can’t take care of.
Choosing the Right Crown
So, one question I get is, why don’t you do it for front teeth? And that’s a great question, and plenty of offices feel comfortable doing that. In our practice, whenever you’re working in the anterior aesthetic zone, so basically from canine to canine, the front six teeth on the top or bottom, that’s something that needs to take a little bit of extra time and a little bit of extra planning, and I prefer to use a very experienced ceramist. So that’s one where I take a conventional impression or a digital impression, and I sit down with my lab technician, and we really design out the ideal proportions and shapes because front teeth reflect light differently. So if you don’t make them perfect anatomy, you can get a very dull or very dead-looking tooth. And that’s the last thing we want to do: have something in your smile zone, not look natural and not look aesthetic.
Contact Dr. Brett Langston
If you need a crown for a tooth, contact us. We’d love to have you meet us. We’d love to come down, have a consultation, check out our website, drbrettlangston.com, come in, and make an appointment. We’ll look and tell you if the same-day crown is right for you or if we need to do a more conventional lab-fabricated crown. Thank you for your time. I’m Dr. Brett Langston, and I’m here to help you watch your mouth.