Written by: Dr. Katie Dhaliwal
A dental crown is designed to protect and strengthen your natural tooth and may be recommended by your dentist for a variety of reasons. For example, they are the gold-standard of care for root canal treated teeth. They can be a great, long-term solution for fractured or chipped teeth as well as teeth with large fillings, cracks or decay. They can also play an integral part in achieving an aesthetic smile for a discoloured or heavily restored tooth.
A crown can be made in your dental office using CEREC™ (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) technology. CEREC crowns are made of a durable ceramic material built to withstand everyday functions. This also means that your crown will be tooth-coloured and colour-matched as close as possible to your other teeth. The main benefit of a CEREC crown over a traditional crown that is sent to a dental lab, is that in most situations your CEREC crown will be ready in one dental appointment. A traditional crown takes a minimum of two appointments, so choosing a CEREC crown means less time off from work or school!
Here are some frequently asked questions about CEREC crowns:
How do you make the CEREC crown?
First, your dentist will select the proper colour and prepare your tooth or teeth the same way they would for a traditional crown. Then, a small intraoral scanner is used to take a digital impression of your teeth using 3D imaging. This impression is very precise and is often more comfortable for you as it eliminates the need to use traditional dental impression materials and trays.
Using your digital impression, the dental team is able to design and customize your crown on the computer. Once it is ready, the design is sent to a milling machine that will fabricate your crown in our office.
Once it is made, your crown will be tried in and bonded on the same day!
How long will my appointment be?
For most patients, CEREC crowns take approximately one to two hours to complete. You may have some down time while the crown is being milled, where you can relax in the office, or run an errand and return once the crown is ready. However, appointment times can vary depending on how many crowns are being made for you in a single visit.
How long does a CEREC crown last?
CEREC crowns are made of a durable ceramic material that is designed for normal functioning. They are comparable in strength to traditional dental crowns and can last you for many years. However, the lifespan of these crowns can be weakened by tooth decay as well as grinding or clenching your jaw.
Regular dental visits, combined with good oral hygiene can help increase the longevity of your crown. Your dentist may also recommend a night guard if you grind your teeth at night. These are effective solutions to ensure that you can make use of your CEREC crowns for years to come!