As technology continues to advance, you have more choices when it comes to dental restorations to enhance your smile and keep your mouth healthy. Although dental crowns have been around for a long time, today, you have a choice between a traditional crown and the newer CEREC crowns.
You may be wondering if one is better than the other and what factors you should consider before making a choice. Both have benefits, and knowing these can help you determine if CEREC crowns are right for you.
What are Traditional Dental Crowns?
All dental crowns serve as a cap-like protection for a damaged or weakened natural tooth. Traditional ones continue to be reliable restorations for those looking to improve their oral health and their smile. Made of a combination of materials, including porcelain and metal, these crowns look and function much like regular teeth once in place.
The procedure involves the grinding down of the natural tooth structure to prepare it for the capping crown. Once this is complete, scans and impressions will be taken of the prepared tooth so that a temporary crown can be made for a patient to wear while the dental lab creates the permanent one. This process can take up to two weeks.
Once created, the patient returns to the office for a fitting of the permanent crown, then the final cementing of it in place. If this lab-created crown is even slightly off in fit or needs major adjustments, you may need to postpone the procedure and have the lab create a new crown.
What are CEREC Crowns?
CEREC crowns are often referred to as the same-day crowns because their creation, fitting, and permanent placement can be completed in just one visit. These crowns are crafted from durable, high-quality ceramic material that is natural looking and blends in aesthetically with your surrounding teeth.
The benefit of CEREC crowns is that they can be completed in just one appointment, thanks to advanced technology being available right in your dentist’s office. This technology includes advanced imaging, 3D software, and the use of CAD machines. As such, there is an increase in precision and accuracy, creating a better-fitting crown for each patient.
In addition to taking just one appointment to complete, these same-day crowns eliminate the need for you to wear a temporary crown for two weeks or more as the permanent one is being made.
The procedure itself is a step-by-step process, beginning with the prep of what is left of the natural tooth structure. Once done, your dentist will capture images of the tooth with a tiny digital camera. These images are sent simultaneously to a nearby computer, where 3D imaging software knits all of them together to create a unique model.
This model is then used to create your crown in a CAD machine located somewhere in the dental office while you wait. Once created, your dentist will sanitize and polish the new crown before bonding it to your prepared tooth.
Are CEREC Crowns as Good as Traditional Crowns?
A major advantage of CEREC crowns is that they can be created for a more accurate and comfortable fit than most traditional ones due to the newest technology available. That, combined with the fact that the procedure can be completed in just one visit, makes them a great option for patients.
Both CEREC and traditional crowns are long-lasting, generally remaining functional for up to 15 years or longer. However, traditional crowns usually consist of a porcelain cap with a metal base, making them highly durable. CEREC crowns, on the other hand, consist entirely of porcelain, making them a slight less so. Both types of crowns are prone to chipping and cracking when exposed to higher levels of pressure, so will need your attention and care.
So, in answer to are CEREC crowns as good as traditional crowns, the answer is yes in most regards. CEREC crowns are reliable and durable, create a more precise fit, and are aesthetically pleasing. To increase the chances of them lasting as long as possible, consider the following tips.
- Brush at least two times per day with a soft toothbrush. (CEREC crowns are not prone to developing decay as they are made of ceramic, however, the tooth structure underneath and other teeth around it still need care.)
- Floss slowly and gently around the crown once a day to remove any food that may become trapped between it and the gums.
- Make an effort to avoid hard and sticky foods.
- Avoid using your teeth as a tool for opening various packages or even bottle caps.
- Consider wearing a nightguard if you have bruxism (grinding of teeth at night) to protect your crowns.
- Schedule regular dental appointments for cleanings and exams, so your dentist can check the status of your crown on a regular basis.
Contact South Dayton Stiles Today to Learn More About the Advantages of CEREC Crowns
While you may not be thrilled that you need a dental crown, today, you have more options available. CEREC crowns take less time, look, feel, and function like a real tooth, and are long-lasting. Find out more by contacting South Dayton Smiles today and scheduling an appointment.