While your teeth are incredibly strong, their strength can become compromised by a deep crack, a large chip, or even heavy decay. Rather than extracting the tooth, a porcelain crown from Dr. Thomas DeStefano of Pittsford, NY can save the tooth. A crown returns the strength, appearance, and function to the tooth.
Dr. DeStefano only uses porcelain for his crowns, and they are milled in our office with our advanced CEREC system.
What Is Are Dental Crowns?
The upper part of a tooth, the visible portion, is known as the clinical crown. The root is below the gum line, hooking the tooth into the jawbone. A dental crown is an artificial restoration that usually covers the entire clinical crown. Formerly, crowns were often called “caps.” This moniker came from what the crown does — it fits over the entire area of the tooth above the gum line, restoring the original size and shape of the tooth. More important, it gives the tooth back its strength.
What is a CEREC® crown?
CEREC® stands for Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics. The system was developed to enable practices to design and create porcelain crowns right in the office, without the delay and extra appointment needed by having a dental lab fabricate the practice’s crowns.
Candidates for Dental Crowns
As noted, crowns are used to save a damaged tooth. But they are also used as anchors for bridges, and they can be cosmetic in nature, covering a misshapen or badly stained tooth.
Here’s the list of problems a crown can fix:
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Teeth with overly large fillings
- Heavily decayed teeth
- Chipped teeth
- Severely worn down teeth
- Misshapen teeth
- Severely discolored teeth
- Teeth that have had a root canal
Benefits of CEREC® Dental Crowns
How valuable is your time? Having a dental crown with most other practices requires at least two appointments, usually separated by two weeks or so. Plus, between appointments you’ll need to wear a poorly fitting temporary crown.
The entire process takes just one appointment with Dr. DeStefano.
CEREC® porcelain crowns are just as strong as those made in a dental lab. They are made of dental porcelain, are ultimately strong, resistant to staining, and look just like natural tooth enamel. The only difference is they are made right in our offices in about 30 minutes.
CEREC® Dental Crown Procedure
At Dr. DeStefano’s the tooth is prepared for the crown in the same day. It is shaved down on all sides and on the top. Various measurements and images are then taken of the tooth. In other practices, impressions would also be made. This would be sent to the lab to make the crown. Instead, Dr. DeStefano only needs the data (no goopy impressions required!), which he then sends directly to his CEREC® 3D system. The system software allows him to create a three dimensional design of the patient’s crown right in the office. Once his design is finished, he can share it with the patient for final approval.
Once the design is finalized, Dr. DeStefano simply sends the design parameters directly to the CEREC® milling station. The milling station takes a small block of solid dental porcelain and mills it to the precise specs of Dr. DeStefano’s design. This milling usually takes around 30 minutes.
When the custom CEREC® crown is finished, Dr. DeStefano checks the color match with your adjacent teeth. Then he places the crown on your tooth temporarily so you can test the fit. Once both of your are satisfied, he cements it onto your tooth and your once-endangered tooth now sports a sparkling new porcelain crown and is ready for biting and chewing. This is all done in a single appointment!
CEREC® Same Day Crowns vs Traditional Crowns
Traditional dental crowns are made to cap over the entire tooth These caps are used to restore and protect teeth that have been damaged or are in a severe state of decay. Traditional crowns, like veneers, are known as “indirect” restorations. They are made in a laboratory and placed over the course of two or more dental appointments.
CEREC crowns, on the other hand, are designed and created in just one day. While this may seem as though lack of quality makes up for the convenience, this is not the case. In fact, CEREC crowns are higher quality than traditional crowns, and are longer lasting.
Taking Care of Your Dental Crowns
With proper care. crowns can last a lifetime. However, sometimes crowns can break, fall out, or come loose. The best thing you can do to ensure your crowns last as long as possible is to maintain a healthy oral hygiene routine. Tips for proper crown care include:
- Brushing and flossing twice or more daily
- Avoid eating hard foods that may damage the bridge
- Schedule regular dentist appointments for professional cleanings and check ups
How long do CEREC® crowns last?
The lifespan of a CEREC® crown isn’t any different than a dental lab crown. The lifespan often depends on the home hygiene of the patient. Porcelain doesn’t decay, but that doesn’t mean the tooth under the crown can’t decay. Also, if the patient practices bad habits such as chewing ice, biting fingernails, and the like, the lifespan of a crown can be greatly diminished. But with the proper hygiene and respect, our high-quality CEREC® porcelain crowns can last for decades.
What’s the Difference Between Dental Crowns and Dental Veneers?
Dental veneers are strictly cosmetic. They are thin porcelain shells placed over the fronts of the visible teeth. Veneers simply cover problems such as staining or gaps, but they don’t repair problems such as cracks or large cavities. Crowns cover the entire tooth and return structural strength to the tooth. The only thing the two dental prostheses have in common is that they are made of porcelain.
Some patients even choose to get the damaged tooth pulled. In these instances, patients may choose to get a dental implant. While this is a great option, it comes with a longer and more painful recovery. Dr. DeStefano will perform a thorough examination to determine which option is best for you.
Risks of Getting a Dental Crown
There are associated complications and risks with all dental treatments. When placed by an experienced dentist, such as Dr. DeStefano, complications are rare. Risks specific to dental crown placement include:
- Gum infection
- Side effects to pain medicine
- Tooth decay beneath crown
- Crown replacement if crown breaks or falls out
- Bleeding and swelling around placement site
Be sure to talk with Dr. DeStefano about the potential risks of this procedure and the steps to take to ensure a risk free crown placement.