If you have cracked, chipped, or decayed teeth, then one of your options for repair and restoration is a crown. A crown completely covers the tooth without replacing it. As you consider your crown options, a dentist may offer a traditional crown or a CEREC crown. CEREC stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics.
Both options come with benefits, so a patient’s decision on the crown is typically on their personal preference. The more you educate yourself about the different treatment options, the more confidence you will build for your final decision. Learn about what sets CEREC crowns apart, how each crown works, and how they protect your teeth.
- Instant Creation
A traditional dental crown can take several days to properly make and order. During this time, your tooth is protected using a temporary crown. Dentist offices with CEREC technology can create a permanent crown right on the spot. The office is equipped with a special printer used exclusively for dental crowns.
The process is similar to using a 3D printer. During your appointment, a dentist will perform a 3D scan of the tooth you need a crown for. The scan is converted to a digital CAD file for precise measurements. Once printed, the crown is fitted and placed inside your mouth.
The instant CEREC crown process has multiple benefits. You do not need to return to the dentist for multiple appointments. You do not need to adjust work schedules around. You will alleviate pain quickly.
A temporary crown could be placed in your mouth for two weeks as an outside lab creates your final crown. The temporary crown does not sit as tightly as a regular crown, and you could suffer from additional tooth pain or damage during this time. For example, the temporary crown may fall off and expose your damaged tooth.
You will spend two weeks protecting the crown and changing your eating habits. As the risks increase, you will need to pick an option that fits your lifestyle and ability to adjust for the temporary period.
- Less Invasive
A CEREC crown is a less invasive feature than a traditional crown. A dentist may need to drill and shape a tooth to fit a temporary crown or a traditional crown, but a CEREC crown is inserted with minimal pain. The crown helps you avoid any dental anxiety or fears associated with drills and other dental tools.
With the exact fit, a dentist does not need to make major adjustments or force a crown on. You will also experience less discomfort afterward. The formation of the crown provides a recognizable comfort to your mouth and you can chew or drink near the crown without any pain or sensitivity.
- Crown Materials
A CEREC crown is typically made with ceramic. Ceramic material is not uncommon in the dental world. Ceramic is also used for dental bonds, bridges, and some implants. Over the years, ceramic has proven to be a reliable material for teeth. The ceramic color also allows the CEREC crown to blend more naturally inside your mouth.
While the ceramic material is strong and lasts long, it does not bond to teeth as well as a traditional metal crown. Metal crowns often combine a mix of ingredients like metal and porcelain to create a strong barrier for teeth. The combination of materials will bond to the tooth to prevent coming loose in the future.
The crown does have a metal finish, which may be noticeable when you speak, eat, or pose for pictures.
With proper care, a CEREC crown can last for multiple decades, but hard impacts can damage the crown more easily than the metal. The impacts are not typical occurrences but rare instances like a car crash or an object that smashes into someone’s face.
- Cracked Tooth Protection
A crown is common for cracked teeth. The crown keeps the tooth intact and prevents the need for extraction. Unfortunately, some tooth cracks may go below the gum line and near the root of the tooth. The CEREC scanning technology only covers the visible part of the tooth. Anything underneath the tooth does not remain protected by the crown.
So if your crown extended beyond the gums, your only choice may be a traditional crown. A traditional crown can go deeper over a tooth and help prevent more damage or decay. You do not need to worry about second-guessing your options in this situation. Through a dental exam or X-rays, a dentist will determine how deep a crack goes.
From there, you will know your crown options and the best steps moving forward. The extra time used to create a permanent crown will result in years of protection for your tooth.
If you have any questions or want to schedule an appointment, contact us at Valley Oak Dental Group. We can help you with any dental emergencies and have the CEREC technology on-site to provide you same-day crowns if needed.