Dental Crowns | Procedure Length Simplified
The length of time a dental crown takes will depend on whether your dentist is giving you a same-day crown or a traditional crown. Traditional and same-day crowns offer the same results but take different lengths of time to make.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown is an artificial device that is placed over the top of a tooth. Dental crowns are used to restore the structure, strength or appearance of a damaged or weak tooth.
Dental crowns are customised to fit perfectly over the entire visible part of your tooth. This protects your natural tooth underneath while looking entirely natural. Crowns are usually made from porcelain, ceramic, metal alloy or a combination of these materials.
Dental crowns have lots of uses. They can strengthen a tooth that is decayed or would otherwise fracture, they can provide protection after a root canal, and make your smile more aesthetically pleasing. Crowns are used to fix some common dental problems including:
- Having little to no tooth structure left after a cavity
- Providing structure after a root canal
- Giving shape to a distorted tooth
- Preventing a weak tooth from breaking
- Providing an alternative to a very large cavity
- Supporting a dental bridge
How long does it take to get a traditional crown?
Traditional crowns are performed over two appointments. At the first appointment your dentist will focus on restoring your tooth by removing any decayed or damaged parts. Then they will shape what remains to fit under a dental crown.
Your dentist will take an impression of your newly shaped tooth, which will serve as a model for creating the crown. This mould or model is sent away to a dental laboratory where the permanent crown is made. In the meantime, you’ll be fitted with a temporary crown to protect your teeth while you wait.
It takes two to three weeks for a traditional crown to be created. Once it’s ready, you’ll be invited back for the fitting appointment. Your dentist will remove the temporary crown, check that it fits over your tooth and blends in with your natural tooth. They will then permanently cement the crown into place. The result is a stronger and natural looking tooth.
Each appointment only takes around an hour but the overall process for a traditional crown takes 2-3 weeks.
How long does it take to get a one-visit crown?
One visit crown can be fitted in a single appointment. One day crowns are sometimes called CEREC (Ceramic Reconstruction) and are made with CAD/CAM technology. This technology allows your dentist to create a dental crown in-house without sending your moulds or scans to another manufacturer.
A one-visit crown takes around two hours from start to finish. During this time your dentist will take a digital scan of your teeth. This is much more comfortable than traditional moulds which can be messy and uncomfortable.
The digital scan is used to design an accurately shaped crown. Once the design is complete, your dentist will use an in-practice milling machine to fabricate the crown from a solid block of ceramic or resin. Once this is done, your dentist will permanently bond the crown to your tooth. The whole experience is a lot faster, streamlined, and more comfortable than getting a traditional crown.
Are there any downsides to getting a one-visit crown?
With so many ‘pros’ to getting a one-visit crown, you may wonder why dentists still offer traditional crowns. Despite the many upsides, there are some downsides to a CEREC crown. The decision on whether you’re a good candidate for a one-visit crown will be up to you and your dentist. In some cases, a traditional crown may be a better choice:
Some technology that makes one-visit crowns may not offer as many choices of materials as traditional crowns. This can affect how the crown looks or how strong and long-lasting it is. Traditional crowns can be a better choice for the restoration of a molar as opposed to a tooth at the front of the mouth.
In some cases, like severe tooth damage, multiple tooth restorations, or complex tooth shapes, traditional crowns can be a better choice as they can be manufactured in a way that makes them more precise.
Achieving the right colour match can be more of a challenge with one-visit crowns. Traditional crowns can usually be made to match a wider range of colour customisations.
How do I know if a CEREC crown is right for me?
If you are interested in a one-day crown, book an appointment at Gentle Dental. Our friendly dentist will walk you through the process and let you know whether a CEREC crown or a traditionally made crown is right for you. We use in-house CEREC technology to make the process of getting a crown faster and more comfortable. Talk to us today.