Patients who have had to endure the process of a crown know there have always been many steps to getting a crown or “cap.” Multiple appointments, cumbersome impressions, and poorly fitting temporaries have always been the ugly, but necessary steps to having a crown made.
In fact, here’s one of our favorite clips of David Letterman and his recent dental experience.
Now enter Cerec. The beauty of the technology lies in its ability to “scan” teeth with a laser and then design the new tooth on a computer. Once a tooth is designed, a second machine or milling unit carves the crown out of porcelain. The design and milling of the tooth takes about 10 minutes and most patients find it pretty cool to watch.
The time a patient used to spend waiting on an impression or even making a temporary is now spent relaxing. Most patients either watch the milling process or check email on their phone.
An intriguing finding since we’ve been doing these crowns in one appointment, is that we do fewer root canals! Why is that? Because doing any work is traumatic for a tooth and since even the best temporaries still leak, we sometimes found that it was too much for a tooth to bear to have a leaky temporary for two weeks. This additional trauma sometimes caused a root canal, but now that we are able to seal the tooth and complete the crown in the same appointment, teeth are much happier and patients get fewer root canals.
Most appointments take 60-90 minutes and patients are on their way with a brand new tooth.