How Can You Get A Crown in Just a Day?

What is a crown?

If your tooth is structurally damaged from decay or trauma, you might need a crown: a permanent cap that is placed over your tooth to protect it and return it to its normal appearance. A crown not only strengthens a damaged tooth, it can also be made to look like the tooth itself. Getting a crown does not require dental surgery. Your dentist can place it in a regular office visit, using only local anesthetic. After getting a crown, you shouldn’t feel any pain or discomfort.

What’s a “lab-made” crown versus a “same-day” crown?

Getting a crown is not a quick process–or at least, it didn’t use to be. Correcting a large hole in a tooth traditionally requires at least two visits. First, the dentist drills down the tooth to make room for the crown, makes an impression of the tooth, and sends it off so that the crown can be made in a separate lab facility. Meanwhile, the patient gets a temporary crown fitted. Several days or a few weeks later, when the crown is ready, the patient returns to have the real crown placed. This is a traditional or “lab-made” crown.

Fortunately, new technology has simplified and shortened this process. With a technology called “CEREC,” we can put in a crown in just one visit (a “crown in a day”). Instead of creating an impression of the tooth, we use a small camera to take a digital picture of it. This picture is transferred to a machine that quickly creates the crown based on the image of the tooth. Next, we’re ready to put in the new crown! The entire process takes only about two hours.

Are same-day crowns as high quality?

Yes: efficiency does not have to mean a sacrifice of quality. Same-day crowns are not only faster to place, they’re just as effective as lab-made crowns. Research shows that they have great strength and longevity. Because it is made of ceramic, your crown will look the same as your real tooth. Although there may be some cases in which a lab-made crown is more appropriate, your dentist will be able to tell you whether CEREC is a good option.

How do you take care of your crown?

You’ll take care of your new crown the same way you would any of your other teeth–with regular brushing and flossing.