If you have a tooth that is infected and/or missing much of its natural crown, then you may already be looking into your dental crown options to decide what you would like to request from your dentist after that inevitable root canal. If you have never had to obtain a crown or already have one, yet obtained it years ago, then you may be running across the term "same-day dental crowns" in your search for a dentist and wonder if a same-day crown is best for you and how they differ from traditional crowns.
While your dentist will help you choose the crown option best for you, read on to learn how same-day and traditional dental crowns differ so you can make a more educated final decision.
Same-Day Crowns: Porcelain Crowns Created Quickly Using Modern Technology
If you had a crown made in the past and your dentist took dental impressions of your teeth, sent the impressions to a lab, and then fitted your new crown, then you may wonder how this can now all occur in one day. The truth is that the fabrication of a same-day crown and even of the dental impressions needed to make them is very different than the process used to design and create a traditional crown.
Same-day crowns are created right in your dentist's office, typically by your dentist. First, instead of the traditional dental impression, your dentist will take a 3D scan of your teeth using CAD/CAM, or Computer-Aided Design/Computer-Aided Manufacturing, technology. This scan will produce a 3D image of your teeth that will next be sent to a crown milling machine, often a CEREC model. The milling machine will then mill your crown out of porcelain, and next, your dentist can check the fit and simply bond it to your tooth as the final step of your root canal plus crown.
Same-day crowns are a great option if you have a busy lifestyle and want a porcelain crown. Most dentists agree that this type of crown is a great option for molars, although they can work very well for teeth closer to the front of your mouth, as well.
Traditional Crowns: Still Great Options and Have Many Advantages
Now that you know how quickly and easily same-day crowns can be made, you may wonder why many dentists still offer traditional crowns. The truth is that neither crown is superior to the other, but there are circumstances when a traditional crown is a better option than a same-day crown.
First, realize that aside from porcelain crowns, other types of crowns include metal crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, and gold crowns. These types of crowns cannot yet be produced same-day with a crown milling machine. This means that they must be made using the traditional crown-making process.
If your crown is going on a back molar, then your dentist may recommend a metal or gold crown due to the fact that the materials are a bit stronger than porcelain. Metal crowns are also typically a bit more affordable than porcelain crowns, so you may also prefer this crown material if you are on a budget. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns provide "the best of both worlds" and offer the strength of a metal crown with the appearance of a porcelain one.
If you need a crown on a front tooth and are choosing porcelain, then you still may want to consider obtaining a traditional crown. Some dentists believe that traditional crowns can be a better option for front teeth that are on full display when you smile due to the fact that when making the crown in a dental lab, the ceramist can take extra care to make sure it matches the appearance of your other front teeth as closely as possible.
Now you know the difference between same-day and traditional crowns and how each option helps fit the needs of various patients and a variety of teeth. If you know or suspect that you will need a dental crown soon, then your dentist will help you decide whether a same-day crown or a crown made the traditional way is a better option for you. Contact a dental office such as Sunnyside Dentistry for Children-David E Doyle, DDS for additional information.