Technology continues to advance in all industries, and dentistry is certainly not excluded. New innovations in dental procedures and materials have allowed for a significant change in care as well as quality, and one appointment crowns emphasize that fact perfectly.
Dental crowns are needed in situations where tooth decay has progressed too far to fix, yet not so far that the tooth needs to be removed. Essentially, dentists remove as much of the decayed area as possible, and fashion a cap to cover what remains of the tooth. In the past, the experience took at least two appointments, spaced over a few weeks, before you finally were able to go home with a new smile. Let's see what's changed.
How are one appointment crowns possible?
Dentists are able to use computer aided design (CAD) programs and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) processes to quicken the pace. When crowns are made, an impression of your tooth will be taken and fed into computer software; this software then pairs your trimmed dental impression with a stock tooth form to create a customized fit for the patient. Then, a milling machine (with the help of CAM) grinds the shape out of a single block of dental ceramic.
What will the appointment actually be like for me?
Most single-tooth one-visit crown placements take between 1.5 to 2.5 hours to complete. The first third of your appointment will be when your doctor takes the impression and files away the decay; in the middle bit, you get to relax while your crown is being designed, fabricated, and finished. The final part of your appointment is when the crown gets affixed to your tooth.
Are one appointment crowns better than the traditional method?
This question has more to do with personal preference. The crowns themselves are identical to the ones used in the traditional, two-appointment past, it's the technology that has changed. The end goal is convenience -- if you're okay with coming back twice in a short amount of time (and having your mouth numbed twice), then the choice is up to you. Other than the time, the material is the same.
An estimated three-quarters of people don't brush their teeth as often as they should, leading to decay that ultimately might need to be replaced with a crown. If you find yourself in such a predicament, you'll now know that the process of repair is quick and painless.