By: Guest Blogger, Andrew Timmons
Need a crown on your tooth? Here’s how to avoid two or three visits to the dentist for one:
Let’s face it, going to the dentist or bringing a family member to the dentist is never fun, especially when the visit is for a root canal and getting a crown. The process is so long and requires multiple visits. But over the years, and trying a few different dental practices, I found that there is newer technology that some dental practices use to eliminate multiple visits.
Here’s the typical routine I would have to go through when getting a root canal and crown:
The first visit includes seeing the dentist to evaluate the problematic tooth; have it drilled down to a stub; endure the root canal process; get an impression (yes, that awful goopy slime put into a mouthpiece that eventually hardens and forms the impression – Yuck!); and lastly, cement in a “temporary crown.” The impression is mailed off to who-knows-where in China, where someone creates the real crown (which is either porcelain, gold or some other material). After several weeks, the impression is shipped from China back to my dentist’s office.
In the meantime, while the crown is being made in China, I pray that my temporary crown doesn’t become loose, fall out, or completely break, which would require another visit. I’ve had about 4 or 5 crowns over the years and 75% of the time, the temporary crown breaks. As a result, a second visit is needed to create and cement in another temporary crown.
The third visit is usually the last one, unless the temporary crown breaks again, and this is when the real crown is placed. So, for one root canal and a crown, requires two to three separate trips to the dentist. (At least two visits)
Several years ago my job has changed, and as a result, staying with the dentist I’ve used for many years became inconvenient. So I decided to try another dentist that was closer to work. When I went in for my initial new patient consult and a general cleaning, the new dentist told me of a new technology, called “Cerec” used for dental restoration procedures. This is a portable machine that takes 3-D images of the problematic tooth and sends the images to a milling machine, also located in the dentist office, where it mills and grinds a block of solid zirconia into an exact replica of your original tooth. This is all done in one visit and at one location!
Until I switched dentists, I was never aware of this technology. Best of all, when I had my first crown using Cerec, I never needed a temporary crown, didn’t have to wait for my crown to ship from China, and everything was done in one visit. So, if your dentist does not have Cerec available, I would highly recommend finding a dentist that does!