Dental Health Connection

Randall W. Smith, DDS

Cosmetic & General Dentistry & Facial Aesthetics Specialist located in Burlington, MA

A chipped or cracked tooth can be a major dental dilemma — aside from creating a significant amount of pain, a broken tooth can make it difficult to chew and undermine your confidence when you smile. Dental Health Connection: Randall W. Smith, DDS offers quick urgent care appointments for broken teeth as well as rapid repair and restoration with same-day CEREC crowns. Call Dr. Smith at his Burlington, Massachusetts, office today, or schedule an appointment online any time.

Crowns Q & A

What are dental crowns?

Dental crowns are the gold-standard solution for restoring strength, function, and appearance to a severely chipped, cracked, or broken tooth.

Also known as porcelain caps, crowns are also regularly used to help restore teeth that are extremely weak or irreversibly discolored.

Often, crowns are the best solution for reinforcing a tooth that’s been compromised by an extra-large filling or weakened by too much dental work.

A crown may also be used to restore structure to a misshapen tooth or one that’s too worn to be repaired with cosmetic bonding.

How long does it take to get a crown?

At most dental offices, getting a crown requires two separate visits — one to prepare your tooth and take an impression to send to the dental lab and another to fit the permanent crown. You wear a temporary crown for up to 2 weeks as the lab creates your custom crown.

That isn’t the case at Dental Health Connection: Randall W. Smith, DDS, where Dr. Smith uses highly advanced computer technology to offer single-visit CEREC crowns, so you don’t have to wait days to complete the restoration process.

The 4-step process works like this:

Step one

After numbing the treatment area, Dr. Smith removes any old restorations or decay from the affected tooth, fills any cavities, and shapes the tooth to prepare it for the crown.

Step two

Next, he uses a special digital camera to create a high-resolution digital image, or optical impression, of the treatment area.

Step three

Using sophisticated CEREC 3D imaging software, Dr. Smith converts the high-resolution image of your tooth into a virtual 3D model on the computer.

Then, with the click of a mouse, he sends the restoration data to a specialized in-office milling machine that’s been preloaded with a ceramic block that matches the color of your natural teeth.   

Step four

After 15 minutes in the milling machine, your ceramic crown is ready for Dr. Smith to polish it, fit it, and cement it in place. From start to finish, the entire process takes less than 2 hours.

Are dental crowns long-lasting?

Like conventional porcelain crowns, CEREC same-day crowns are strong, durable, and long-lasting, as long as you practice good oral hygiene habits and see Dr. Smith for regular cleanings and exams.

Although the average lifespan of a well-maintained dental crown is about 15 years, you can expect your CEREC crown to last much longer if you brush thoroughly and floss twice a day, taking extra care to remove plaque from the area where the crown meets your gums.

To learn more about same-day crown restorations, call Dental Health Connection: Randall W. Smith, DDS or schedule an appointment online today.