Out of all the places you can spend an extended amount of time at, the dentist’s office is generally not most people’s first choice. While we do our best to make your stay as comfortable and relaxing as possible, we also understand that getting you in and out of the dentist’s chair is equally important. For this reason, we offer same day dental crowns that can easily and quickly be completed in our office during a single dental appointment.
The main difference between a same day crown and a traditional crown is the time it takes to fabricate them. Traditional crowns are fabricated by an off-site dental laboratory. This means that it can take approximately 1-2 weeks to have your permanent restoration returned to the office. This also means that you will need to come back to the office 1-2 weeks after your initial appointment so the permanent crown can be placed.
Same day crowns, however, are milled in our office, meaning that the entire procedure can be completed in a single appointment. Instead of using a dental lab for fabrication, same day dental crowns are fabricated using a CAD/CAM machine. This machine uses information from digital images to fabricate a customized dental crown. It can also be used to fabricate indirect fillings and veneers as well.
When you have a same day crown placed, your dentist will first prepare the tooth by removing any damaged or decayed tissue and then shaping the remaining tooth structure. Preparing the tooth is a necessary step to ensure that no decay is trapped underneath the crown, as well as to make sure that the crown can fit properly over the tooth without affecting the bite. Once the tooth has been prepared, then your dentist will use an oral scanner to obtain digital images of the tooth and surrounding area.
At this point, the information will be sent to the milling machine to begin the fabrication process. While your crown is being fabricated, you have the option of staying in the office or leaving and returning later. On average, it takes approximately 60-90 minutes for the CAD/CAM machine to mill a dental crown from start to finish.
First, the crown is carved from a block of either porcelain, composite, or lithium disilicate. Then several small burs are used to gradually reduce the block to the proper size, shape, and texture. Cutting and shaping the crown usually takes about 20 minutes. Next, the crown is colored by being stained and glazed so that it will blend in with the surrounding teeth. Again, this takes about 20 minutes. The final step is to fire the crown to permanently set the shape and color. The firing process generally takes about 15-20 minutes.
After your dental crown is finished and has cooled, your dentist will inspect it and remove any remnants of the fabrication process. They will then place it over your tooth to ensure it fits your tooth, as well as your bite. In some cases, minor adjustments may be made to make the crown fit better or more comfortably. Finally, the crown will be cemented in place and your appointment will be complete.
Overall, same day dental crowns allow patients to leave the dentist’s office with a custom fabricated dental crown in as little as 60-90 minutes, as opposed to waiting 1-2 weeks. This saves both the patient and the dentist time since a second appointment is no longer needed. Additionally, CAD/CAM machines still offer the same quality fabrication process as a dental laboratory, but without the wait. If your dentist recommends a dental crown, ask them about having a same day crown placed.
Dr. Admar holds dual certificates — a Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) in 2010 from India and a Doctor of Dental Surgery (DDS) in 2014 from Canada. He is now a full time practicing dentist in Kamloops where he provides a variety of services. Dr. Admar spends hundreds of hours in continued dental education to stay up to date in cosmetic and implant dentistry and he has achieved several advanced qualifications.