Crowns are a big deal right now. On Netflix. On PBS. Prince Harry and the rest. The thing about all of those people, from Queen Elizabeth to Prince Charles to King George, is that they had to wait to get the crown. It’s not like they just showed up one day and someone stuck a crown on their head.
The same is true with most dental crowns. At most practices, crowns take two appointments, usually separated by two weeks where the patient has to wear a temporary crown while the crown is made in a dental lab.
Ah, but at Prosthodontics of New York, we don’t mess around. We have the CEREC 3D design and milling system that we use for our crowns, veneers, and inlays and onlays. At our practice, we can diagnose your tooth that needs the crown, prepare it, and then actually place your sparkling new porcelain crown all in a single appointment.
What is a crown?
You may have heard your Uncle Vinnie in the Bronx talk about his “caps.” That was the standard name for crowns, and they were usually made of gold. It was a somewhat accurate metaphor for what a crown is — a prosthesis that fits completely over the top of a tooth covering it all the way down to the gum line. Kind of like a cap. Today most crowns are made from dental porcelain because of the way it resembles natural tooth enamel, resists staining, and blends perfectly when compared with the adjacent teeth.
The purpose of a crown is to save the natural tooth. When a tooth has serious decay, maybe a deep crack or large chip, or is severely worn it could be in danger of needing to be extracted. Instead, a crown is placed over the entire tooth. This returns strength and function to the tooth and precludes extraction.
What is a CEREC 3D crown?
The preparation to place a crown is the same for a dental lab crown or a CEREC crown at Prosthodontics of New York. First, the natural tooth is prepared. Decay is removed, and other damage tended to. Then the tooth is shaved down on all sides and the top. This makes room for the crown to fit over the natural tooth, yet occupy the same space as the natural tooth. Once this preparation is complete, we take a series of photographs and other measurements to provide the data for our CEREC system. Dr. Roberts or Dr. Sirota then design your crown right in the system, allowing you to see what it will look like. The design information/specs are sent to the CEREC milling station, which takes the data and mills a block of solid dental porcelain to the specs, creating your custom crown.
Once the CEREC system mills your crown in around 30 minutes. We then place it on your tooth with temporary bonding cement, so that you can test the bite and fit. Once you’re happy with it, we cement your beautiful new crown onto the tooth, and you’re good to go. The entire process from start to finish takes just 2-3 hours!
Do you have a tooth with serious damage or maybe it was stained by tetracycline as a kid? We can place a CEREC crown in a single appointment. Call the team at Prosthodontics of New York, (212) 758-9690, to make your appointment.