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. DeStefano can save the tooth. A crown returns the strength, appearance, and function to the tooth.
What Is A Dental Crown?
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.
Dr. DeStefano only uses porcelain for his crowns, and they are milled in our office with our advanced CEREC system.
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.
Am I a Candidate for a Dental Crown?
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
CEREC crown process
At Dr. DeStefano’s the tooth is prepared for the crown in the same way. 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 crown Benefits
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.
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.
Dental Crowns vs 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.