If you’re like most individuals in Lafayette, you enjoy convenience in every aspect of life. In other words, straightforward processes with minimal disruption to your schedule.
Multiple Appointments Can Be a Hassle
When it comes to medical or dental treatments, convenience means the fewest visits possible. Hopefully, only one visit.
Let’s consider dental crowns, for example. Most individuals need a restoration like a dental crown at some point in their life. A dental crown is one of the most versatile dental restorations. It covers the whole visible portion of a tooth and can fix a damaged tooth, a tooth with a large cavity, or a tooth that has undergone a root canal. A durable dental crown protects the remaining tooth, allows normal function, and prevents shifting of the surrounding teeth
Dental Crowns Used to Take at Least Two Appointments
The conventional dental crown procedure involves at least two visits. (Sometimes three or four depending on the situation.) On the first visit, the dentist would prepare the tooth and create an impression for the crown. To take dental impressions, the patient had to bite into a U-shaped tray filled with a thick, gooey substance (alginate or polyvinylsiloxane).
Then the dentist would send the impression to a dental lab to have the crown fabricated. This could take a couple of weeks. When the crown was finished, the patient would have to come back to the dental office to have it placed and cemented.
CEREC and E4D Same-Day Crowns
Now, there are two same-day procedure systems. The brand names are CEREC and E4D. Both systems use Computer-Aided Design (CAD)) and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (CAM) to design and engineer a perfectly-fitting crown.
CAD uses 3-D software that photographs teeth to create a perfect model. In some dental practices, the patient can see the 3-D digital models on a screen during their visit.
CEREC uses an infrared camera to transmit the tooth’s exact shape to the CAD software. E4D accomplishes the same thing with laser technology. As mentioned previously, CAD is the modeling software. Once there is a precise 3-D digital model, it’s time to actually engineer the restoration. That is what the CAM machine does. CAM is the milling operation, in which a small bit-like device runs at extremely high speeds to chisel a custom-fitting crown out of a ceramic block.
6 Steps For a One Visit Dental Crown
Here is a recap of the entire same day dental crown operation:
- Tooth Preparation. Your dentist will prepare the site for your crown by clearing away decay or portions of the damaged tooth.
- Intraoral Scanning. Next, your dental professional will use an optical scanner to create a 3-D digital scan of the damaged tooth and surrounding teeth.
- Restoration Design. With the 3-D images, the dentist will use the CAD software to design the final restoration.
- Milling. A milling machine uses the 3-D scan and precisely chisels the crown from a single ceramic block.
- Sintering and Polishing. The dentist then stains or glazes to make the surface of the dental crown look like a natural tooth. Following that, the dentist polishes the restoration to perfection.
- Cementation. Finally, the restoration is permanently affixed in your mouth. (Colgate.com)
Did we mention that this transpires in one visit?
Need a dental crown? Call us today to book an appointment.
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