HOW DO YOU SPEND LESS TIME IN A DENTAL CHAIR, RELAX, AND ENJOY A BEAUTIFUL TOOTH RESTORATION WITHOUT PAYING THROUGH THE TEETH?
Meet same-day crown technology—quick and easy
Let’s be honest—no one likes going to the dentist. Yes, we want beautiful smiles. Yes, we want healthy teeth and fresh breath. We can even enjoy a professional dental cleaning, sometimes…
But having a dental treatment? A crown? Being numbed? Biting on that yucky impression material (sometimes even multiple times in the same session)? Wearing a temporary crown and being very careful not to lose it? Finding time in your schedule to come back for a second appointment to get numbed again?
How is it possible that in our age of technological breakthroughs, self-driving cars, and 3-D printers, we still have to go through the same old process for dental crowns? Well, in fact, we don’t need to. There is a technology that can make and deliver beautiful and reliable crowns in just one visit.
But before explaining how the same-day crown technology works, let us briefly review the traditional process of making a dental crown:
How Crowns Are Made in Most Dental Offices
- During your first appointment, the dentist prepares the tooth, takes an impression, and makes a temporary crown. You go home with that temporary crown.
- The dental office sends the impression to a lab.
- A lab technician uses that impression to pour up a stone model, then design and fabricate a crown.
- The dental lab sends the finished crown back to the dental office.
- During your second appointment, the dentist tries the crown, and if it fits, cements it.
The process involves two people (the dentist who works on your tooth and the dental technician who makes the actual crown) and two separate locations (the dental office and the dental lab). Because of this arrangement, your crown is made by a person who hasn’t seen you and doesn’t know the specifics of your situation. Consequently, the technician needs to make some assumptions while working on your crown.
Because two appointments are needed, you have to wait. It takes around two weeks to send an impression and receive a crown. For these two weeks, the patient wears a temporary crown that she needs to be very careful with—temporary crowns are set with temporary cement and can come off unexpectedly.
How Two Appointments and Two Weeks Can Become a Single Two-Hour Appointment
Instead of the old-school method, dentists can now use computer-assisted design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM technology). This technology helps in the design process and can provide a full range of restorations—crowns, veneers, inlays/onlays (partial crowns)—in the office during a single appointment. In our office, we use CEREC CAD/CAM technology, which includes:
- A digital scanner that takes a very detailed image of the prepared tooth and sends it to the computer. Immediately, we have an exact 3-D model of your tooth in front of us. This saves us from many potential errors of the traditional approach, such as an inaccurate impression, damage during shipping, shrinkage when pouring the stone model, etc.
- Design software that analyzes the scanned image and has a great variety of features to help the dentist design your future crown. You can even watch your future crown being designed in front of you and participate in the process.
- A milling machine, which receives the design from the computer and carves your crown out of a block of material. We have a huge selection of blocks with different characteristics and colors. The dentist then plays with shades and textures to make your crown look like a real tooth. Because the patient is close by, the guesswork is eliminated.
- An oven to bake the crown, making it strong and sturdy. The crown is then cemented in place. And that’s it!
What’s in all this for YOU?
1. Saved time and convenience
Because everything is done in the office, there is no need for a second appointment. You don’t need to look for open slots in your calendar. You don’t need to rearrange your schedule. You can have your time back.
2. More comfort
To scan your tooth with a digital scanner, the doctor needs just your open mouth. No more biting and gagging on gooey impression materials. No more “let’s do it one more time” if the first impression didn’t come out as expected.
3. A much more enjoyable procedure
For most of your appointment (approximately two thirds), you will be reading magazines or books or browsing our iPad. The machines and the doctor will be working in the meantime.
4. Better looking restorations
The doctor can make the smallest changes to shape, shade, and color right in the office. We don’t need to send the crown back to the lab for another two-week wait.
5. More conservative treatment
With all of the necessary equipment in one place, we can preserve as much of your real tooth structure as possible. It is much more difficult to achieve similar results with the traditional approach—it’s very challenging to have a reliable yet conservative temporary restoration that can maintain itself for two weeks before the permanent crown arrives.
“If this technology is so wonderful, why is it not the standard of care in every dental office? What are the hidden drawbacks?”
There are no hidden drawbacks. The answer is simple—the investment this technology requires is very significant. It is not only very pricey, it also requires considerable time and effort to learn. Because of that, only 8 percent of dentists are using this technology today.
“How experienced is Dr. Andriy with same-day crowns? Am I going to be a guinea pig while he’s leaning?”
We have owned and operated this technology extensively since 2015. Dr. Andriy has made hundreds of crowns with it.
“Is it expensive?”
Even though we have this wonderful (and expensive) technology in our office, our fees are average for the area. In fact, if you decide to have your crowns done at our office, your cost would be similar to that of the crowns made with the traditional method at another dental office.
“Do you accept my insurance?”
Most likely we do. But you need to call our coordinators (707-874-2447) to find out about your particular insurance.
“Do you offer any warranty?”
The American Dental Association has taken a position against offering any guarantees on dental services. It makes sense—the human body is unpredictable. Changes in your general health can affect your dental health. We do, however, always stand behind our work. But rather than giving you promises, I invite you to check our reviews: Google (HERE) and Nextdoor.com (HERE).
WHAT WILL YOUR APPOINTMENT LOOK LIKE?
Have an exam with Dr. Andriy
Your first step is to schedule an exam with Dr. Andriy. You can have either a limited (one tooth: focus on one problem) or comprehensive (full mouth, very detailed) exam. Most likely, we will also need to take some X-rays. But we can also use any recent X-rays taken at another dental office so you don’t have to receive an extra dose of radiation.
Discuss treatment options
Before scheduling your treatment appointment, we will go over treatment options, their benefits, and the risks and investments involved. A dental appointment is already a stressful experience. You don’t want to add worries about how you are going to pay for it. That’s why we give you a complete estimate for the work, and we will discuss payment options with you. If you have dental insurance, we will gladly contact them to find out what they are willing to cover.
Get your tooth prepared for the crown
When you come to the treatment appointment, the first step will be tooth preparation. The doctor will numb you and then shape your tooth into the ideal form for restoration. If you have had a crown done before, you have experienced this already.
Get your tooth scanned
Next, the doctor will scan your tooth with a digital scanner. The scanner looks like a small handheld camera. This part of the process is totally different from what you may have experienced before. With the old technique, the doctor would cover a tray with impression material. That tray would then go into your mouth. You’d have to bite on it and hold still for a couple of minutes. If the impression didn’t set up correctly the first time, you would have to redo it until it was perfect. Not anymore! With the digital scanner, the only thing you experience is the buzzing sound of the scanner while it scans your tooth. Of course, we still need you to hold your mouth open, but that’s the extent of your inconvenience.
After scanning, you can relax. We have up-to-date magazines, an iPad, and WiFi in the office. Or you may bring your own material.
Your crown is designed
Meanwhile, the doctor designs your tooth with the software. You are very welcome to watch and participate in designing your own tooth!
Your crown is milled
Then the doctor sends the complete model to the milling machine. In about twelve minutes, the milling machine will cut a block of ceramic material into a precise copy of the model designed by the doctor. You will need to briefly try the crown on at this point to verify the fit.
Your crown is baked
Now your crown is shaped, but it’s still raw. The doctor will check it carefully for precision and quality and then send it into the oven. It will take another twenty-five minutes for the crown to “cook,” a necessary process for it to become strong and sturdy so it can serve you for many years.
Then the doctor turns into an artist. He colors and glazes your crown so it is not only strong but looks natural as well. We want it to be a good-looking and natural fit in your mouth.
Try your new crown
At this point, it’s time to try your new crown. If all looks and feels perfect and you and the doctor are both happy with the result, then we can cement it in place.
And that’s it! Most appointments take no longer than two hours from start to finish, though this depends on your individual situation. In some cases, it might be as quick as one hour.
No need for a second visit. No need to be numbed again. Enjoy your new crown and go back to your normal life!
Call 707-874-2447 to schedule either a problem-focused or full-mouth exam with Dr. Andriy. We are open Monday through Thursday, 8 am to 5 pm, and occasionally on Fridays.
And if you have any questions…
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