Dental procedures can take significant period of time. Receiving a traditional crown is one of the most notoriously lengthy treatments. Luckily, more and more patients now have the option to choose CEREC same-day crowns instead.
In this blog, we answer five common questions patients have about CEREC same-day crowns that can help you make confident, informed decisions about your oral health with the recommendations of your dentist.
1. What Are CEREC Same-Day Crowns?
Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics, most commonly abbreviated to “CEREC,” crowns are an alternative capping method for damaged teeth used instead of conventional crowns. Conventional crowns require fabrication in an offsite lab, while CEREC crowns are milled in your qualified dentist’s office.
CEREC crowns are created through x-ray and digital-imaging references rather than dental molds. This process is often more comfortable for patients than the mold-taking procedure.
Additionally, conventional crowns always require at least two appointments — a fitting and a placement appointment. Between these two appointments, the patient must wear a temporary crown. As the name suggests, same-day crowns are finished in a single appointment.
CEREC crowns consist of dental quality ceramic, finished to match the color of the patient’s teeth.
2. How Long Do CEREC Same-Day Crowns Take to Place?
One of the most common reasons that patients and providers opt for CEREC same-day crowns is to save time. As mentioned in the last section, conventional crowns require multiple appointments, usually within the time frame of a month or less. This time commitment can often be difficult for busy patients.
Conversely, CEREC crowns are finished in a single appointment that generally only runs moderately longer than the average dental cleaning and exam. Most CEREC appointments last between one and a half to two hours.
However, the appointment time includes 30 to 45 minutes of free time for the patient while the crown is milled. Patients are free to use personal electronics, read or otherwise entertain themselves during this period.
3. When Are CEREC Crowns Used?
In many situations, CEREC same-day crowns have virtually replaced conventional crowns. Many dentists recommend CEREC crowns in every situation where a ceramic crown is appropriate.
Generally, these crowns are used to protect a tooth that has sustained extensive damage, either from advanced decay, internal treatment like a root canal or an injury.
Your dentist may recommend a conventional crown rather than a CEREC crown if you need an alloy dental appliance rather than a ceramic one. These alloy crowns are stronger and therefore are better suited for patients with bruxism.
4. How Long Do CEREC Same-Day Crowns Last?
Because CEREC crowns are quicker than traditional crowns, some patients worry that CEREC crowns won’t last as long as their conventional counterparts. However, the milling process used for same-day crowns produces high-quality ceramic crowns that are comparable in durability to conventional dental appliances.
Well-cared-for crowns should last for at least five years. Because five years is the expected lifespan for ceramic crowns, most dental insurance providers cover a replacement crown after that time frame.
Additionally, because CEREC crowns tend to fit more precisely than conventional crowns, these crowns typically require less refitting. The reduced maintenance of CEREC crowns can translate to even more durability for some patients.
5. What Steps Should You Take to Care for a CEREC Crown?
Taking care of your crown appropriately has a significant impact on how long the dental appliance lasts. The first step toward preserving a CEREC same-day crown is to pay attention to how it fits. If you need an adjustment on the fit, it’s smart to schedule that follow-up appointment as soon as possible.
To care for your crown, you should:
- Avoid circumstances that increase the sensitivity of your crown, such as drinking hot beverages or consuming foods high in sugar
- Floss conscientiously to ensure that the crown stays firmly in place
- If you have issues with teeth grinding or clenching, wear a mouthguard as appropriate to protect the crown from fractures or chips
- Limit the sticky foods you consume, which can potentially shift or remove crowns
- Practice good brushing and flossing habits just as you do to maintain your natural teeth
- Reduce the amount of staining foods and beverages you consume, such as coffee and tobacco, to retain the original color of the crown
- Schedule routine dental cleanings every six months or as recommended by your dentist
In addition to these general recommendations, prioritize any instructions you receive from your dentist, especially guidelines pertaining to the recovery period after the crown’s initial placement.
If you need a crown, ask your dentist if a CEREC same-day crown is the right option to repair damage to your tooth and protect it from further potential damage.
For your best results, choose the experienced CEREC doctors at Treasured Smiles Adult and Cosmetic Dentistry for crowns that fit your smile perfectly.