If you’re like most people in Anchorage, you welcome 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 services, 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 total visible portion of a tooth and can repair a damaged tooth, a tooth with a large cavity, or a tooth that has undergone a root canal. This protects what’s left of the tooth and allows normal function
Dental Crowns Used to Take at Least Two Appointments
The traditional 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 make 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 created. This could take a couple of weeks. When the crown was finished, the patient would have to come back to the dentist to have it placed and cemented.
CEREC and E4D Same Day Crowns
Now, there are two visit systems. The brand names are CEREC and E4D. Both systems use CAD (Computer Aided Design) and CAM (Computer Aided Manufacturing) to design and manufacture 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 scan, it’s time to actually manufacture the restoration. That is what the CAM machine does. CAM is the milling operation, in which a small bit-like device operates 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 cavities or portions of the damaged tooth.
- Intraoral Scanning. Next, your dental professional will use an optical scanner to create a 3-D digital rendering of the damaged tooth and surrounding teeth.
- Restoration Design. With the 3-D images, the dentist will use CAD software to design the final restoration.
- Milling. A milling machine uses the 3-D scan and carves 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 attached to your mouth. (Colgate.com)
Did we mention that this occurs in one same-day procedure?
Need a dental crown? Call us today to request an appointment.
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