Don't Want To Wait For A Dental Crown? Maybe You Don't Have To

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It's quite strange how technology has changed expectations. Not so long ago, taking photos involved using an actual camera and taking the film to be developed into physical photographs. Photos used to take days to be processed, then hours, and then a one hour turnaround time became the norm by the 1970s. Nowadays, you probably don't print your photos, and they're available immediately, digitally on your phone screen. What about cosmetic dentistry? This might not feel like an industry that can slash the required time of treatment without compromising quality. And yet, technology means that you might be able to have a dental crown made while you wait.

A Traditional Dental Crown

Dental crowns typically take several appointments to be completed. The dentist must take precise measurements of the tooth that will host the crown. This can involve the patient biting down onto a foam mold so that an impression of the tooth can be taken. Some cosmetic dentists have modernized the process, and a digital scan of the patient's mouth is used to obtain the dimensions of the tooth in question. The measurements are used to fabricate the dental crown in a laboratory. The tooth must also be prepared for the crown, and this requires the removal of a small amount of surface enamel. It's a straightforward process, but it's possible for it to be streamlined.

A Single Visit Dental Crown

If you're the sort of person who wants speedy (or immediate) results, you might wish to seek out a cosmetic dentist who offers single visit dental crowns. The process is largely the same as when a patient receives a traditional crown, but it's handled onsite. The measurement process is digital, and the data is then used to create the crown while you wait. A small ceramic block is placed into a milling machine, which then manufactures the customized dental crown. While this is happening, your dentist performs the necessary preparation work on your tooth, and the crown can be immediately fitted. 

Restoration Work

Not everyone is a candidate for a single visit dental crown, and though the tooth will already have experienced some deterioration (which is why the crown is needed in the first place), the tooth must still largely be structurally intact. If any restoration work is required before the crown can be fitted, this must be completed before any crown can be applied, and it doesn't matter whether the crown is traditionally manufactured or made while you wait. 

Dentists who offer single visit crowns aren't all that widespread, but just like photographs, perhaps soon the idea of waiting days or weeks for a dental crown will seem curiously old fashioned.