One of the most commonly performed treatments in dentistry is the creation and placement of custom designed crowns. Dental crowns are typically used to reinforce a decayed, damaged, or cracked tooth; to improve the appearance of discolored or misshapen teeth; to serve as an anchor for an implant or bridge replacement of missing teeth; and more. The process usually requires at least two dental visits, with anesthesia at each visit, and a 1-3 week wait for the crown to be made. Advancements in dental technology have significantly minimized that process to a total of an hour or two, while improving the result in most cases.

Esthetic Dentist - Same Day CrownsThis technology has been perfected over three decades. Here, everything from tooth preparation to fixing the final crown is done in just a single appointment and there is no need for a temporary crown. Same Day Crowns utilize a camera the size of a pen, a computer, software to design the crown, and a milling machine to fabricate the crown out of a solid block of ceramic or other materials. Cad-Cam technology and digital scanning of teeth into the computer eliminate much of the chance of human error that can occur with traditional methods of impression putty and stone models for a lab person to create the crowns. This is especially beneficial for multiple crowns, as the computer will aid the dentist in designing everything as ideally as possible.

With the help of the computer, your dentist designs a digital 3D image of your tooth and crown with precise measurements. The design is edited for all the precision elements such as indentations, ridges, pits, and fissures. The shape of your existing tooth or teeth can be replicated exactly if that is the best outcome. Once the final design is ready, the milling machine carves a replica of the design to make a crown in just a few minutes. These crowns are so accurate they often need no adjustment.

Advantages of Same Day Crowns

  • Great result. Accurate, long lasting, and beautiful, life-like result.
  • Saves your time. There is no need for additional appointments or temporary crowns, as Same Day Crowns are done in a single sitting.
  • Saves money. The overhead cost is consistent with no increasing lab fee. For most people, less time off work also equals more opportunities to earn.
  • Comfortable. You skip putty-like, gooey impression pastes.

Disadvantages of Same Day Crowns

  • Though same day crowns are convenient, in certain cases, traditional crowns may be a better choice.
  • Custom shading may still take two visits and a lab “artist” in the more challenging cases like a single anterior tooth.
  • Metal crowns are stronger and better resistant to fracture/wear and tear for heavy grinders. They can be made thinner than same day crowns, although that is changing with the latest technological advances.
  • If there is a fracture below the gum line, traditional crowns may fit better. Intraoral cameras may not be able to capture a precise image far below the gum line.
    Same day CEREC crown

However, Same Day Crowns are often the best choice for the following reasons:

  • Restores your looks quickly. Your smile is back within a few hours.
  • Prevents injury. In the case of traditional crowns, your dentist makes a temporary crown until the permanent crown is available. But, temporary crowns often do not fit well and can come out easily. Same Day Crowns prevent further injury as they are fitted immediately. Same Day Crowns also keep your tooth stronger as they often require less drilling and therefore save more of your tooth.
  • Prevents decay. Dislodged temporary crowns may make room for decay.
  • Restores function immediately. Teeth in a new or changed position can alter your speech, smile, and eating patterns. Same Day Crowns restore all these functions on the same day.

How much does a Same Day Crown cost?

Same Day Crowns usually cost about the same as traditional crowns. The equipment used to manufacture these crowns is quite expensive at over $100,000, but the fact that there is no dental lab cost and only one appointment is needed helps to equalize the price. As usual, there are significant differences in prices, depending on your location, and the experience and expertise of the dentist.

Your dentist will help you make the best choice of crown for your situation. Same Day Crowns are more and more often becoming the best crown for the tooth.

About the author

Dr. Robert Winkler has been keeping patients mouths healthy in Colorado Springs since 1989
Dr. Robert Winkler

Dr. Robert Winkler has been keeping patients mouths healthy in Colorado Springs since 1989. He has been featured on many TV and radio programs such as 5/30 and Channel 11 “Ask the Experts”.

Esthetic Family Dentistry, LLC
8580 Scarborough Dr, Suite 105
Colorado Springs, CO 80920