Same-Day Crowns (CAD-CAM Dentistry)
Let’s face it, very few of us have perfect teeth, free of decay and dental fillings. You can probably see a filling or two in your own mouth, which do just that — “fill” a cavity, or hole, in your tooth left from the excavation of decayed tooth structure. In many cases, those fillings are made of metal material and can go bad, weaken the tooth or get additional decay under or around it. In fact, 1.2 billion of these metal fillings will need to be replaced in the next 10 years. CAD-CAM dentistry (computer-aided design-computer-aided manufacturing) is a method used by thousands of dentists worldwide since 1987 not only to replace these fillings but also to restore any tooth that is decayed, weakened, broken, etc. to its natural strength and beauty. Better yet, it’s done with all-ceramic materials that are tooth-colored – in a single appointment!
Exam & Preparation
First, your dentist examines the tooth and determines the appropriate treatment. It could be a simple filling or a full dental crown, depending on how much healthy tooth structure is remaining and the clinical judgment of your dentist. Next, he or she administers an anesthetic and prepares your tooth for the restoration, removing decayed and weakened tooth tissue. This preparation is just like he or she would do for many other restorative techniques.
Then, your dentist takes an optical impression of the prepared tooth. Instead of filling a tray with impression “goop” that you must bite into and hold in your mouth until it hardens, your dentist uses a camera to take a digital picture of your tooth. This whole optical impression process takes only a minute or two.
Next, the CAD-CAM machine helps the dentist create the restoration for your tooth. The 3D software takes the digital picture and converts it into a 3-dimensional virtual model on a computer screen. Your dentist then uses his or her dental expertise to design the restoration using the 3D computer program. Within a few minutes, your dentist clicks a button, and the restoration design data is sent to a separate milling machine in the office. A ceramic block that matches your tooth shade is placed in the milling machine. Thereafter, within the same appointment, your all-ceramic, tooth-colored restoration is finished and ready to bond in place. Finally, your dentist tries the restoration in your mouth to ensure proper fit and bite. The restoration is then polished and bonded to the prepared tooth. Your tooth is restored with no “temporary” or return trip necessary. All of this is done in a single appointment!
Benefits of Same-Day Crown Technology:
- The technology is in the dental operatory & used while you are in the chair.
- The procedure is economical for he patient, same cost as a traditional dental crown & saves you a second trip to the office.
- The procedure restores your tooth to its natural beauty, function & strength.
- The restorations are metal-free & tooth-colored.
- High-strength ceramics are used that are close in composition to your natural tooth structure.
CAD-CAM dentistry is an advanced dental restorative system that allows your dentist to restore decayed teeth, place crowns, remove defective amalgam fillings or place cosmetic veneers in just one appointment. This allows you to have the highest-quality, most lifelike dental restorations in just one visit to the dentist… in, out and on with your busy life.
CAD Acquisition Unit
The CAD acquisition unit is mobile and houses a medical-grade computer and the camera. Your dentist uses the camera to take a digital picture of your prepared tooth. This picture is used instead of a traditional impression. This means no impression tray and material for you to gag on. The computer and 3D software convert the digital picture to a three-dimensional virtual model of your prepped tooth. Your dentist then designs your restoration right on screen using the software while you wait (and watch!). This software can assist your dentist with designing any single-tooth restoration: crowns, inlays (fillings), onlays (partial crowns) and porcelain veneers. Once your dentist has designed your restoration (usually about 5 minutes), he or she clicks a button, and the design data is communicated via a wireless radio signal to the milling unit.
CAD Milling Unit
Your dentist or dental assistant selects a ceramic block that matches the shade of the tooth being repaired. He or she then inserts the block into the milling unit. The data from the acquisition unit is used to direct diamond-coated burs to carve the block into the indicated shape of the restoration. This process usually takes 8 to 18 minutes depending on the size and type of restoration. After the milling is finished, your dentist polishes the finished filling or crown and bonds it into place.
If you’re looking for comprehensive family dentistry, get in touch with Dr. Audrey Sim. She is a friendly and experienced dentist who looks after you and your family’s dental needs.
Dr. Audrey serves the residents of Algonquin, IL as well as the nearby Illinois communities of Carpentersville, Crystal Lake, Huntley and Lake in the Hills.
To learn more about our same-day crowns, please give us a call at 847.854.9833. For your convenience, you can use our online Request an Appointment form to book your consultation with Dr. Audrey Sim.