Teeth are often restored using silver or porcelain fillings. However, when too much of a tooth's structure is removed to support a filling, a crown or "cap" may be needed. A crown may be needed to:
- Restore a tooth when it is unable to support a large filling
- Attach bridges
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing or restore fractured teeth
- Cover badly shaped or discolored teeth
- Cover dental implants
A crown essentially covers a tooth to restore it to its natural shape and size. This permanent covering fits over your original tooth to strengthen or improve the appearance of the tooth. Crowns in our office can be done in two ways. In the past, crowns have been made over two appointments using a series of impressions while the patient wears a temporary crown. This is still a method we use in select situations in which the result will be of higher quality. For most situations, we are able to fabricate excellent crown restorations in a single visit using the most advanced 3-d imaging and milling machine, the Cerec Primescan.
The Cerec Primescan represents the leading edge of dental technology. It is essentially a 3-dimensional imaging and milling CAD-CAM software that is able to create a 3-d scan of the teeth and design a high-quality dental restoration that is accurate, strong, and esthetic. It can be used to fabricate crowns, bridges, implant restorations, inlays, onlays, veneers, and more using a variety of all-ceramic materials, all in a single visit. This allows us to eliminate the need for impressions and temporary restorations, as well as the need for a second visit.
Once the tooth is prepared, a special camera is used to obtain a 3-d image of the prepared tooth. Once we have an accurate scan of the preparation, surrounding teeth, and the bite, a restoration is designed to recreate the missing tooth structure. The restoration is customized for the needs of the situation in minutes before it is electronically sent to an in-office milling unit where it is then milled from a solid block of porcelain. The newly created restoration is checked, polished, and bonded into the mouth all before leaving the office.