When damage or decay in a tooth is too extensive for a filling to repair, Austin dentist Dr. Steven Van Wicklen will probably suggest a dental crown. Crowns cover an injured tooth to strengthen the remaining structure. A dental crown may be fabricated with precious metal, zirconia, or tooth-colored porcelain. As an Austin cosmetic dentist, Dr. Van Wicklen prefers to use ceramic when possible, because it looks natural. Front teeth are best suited for porcelain. Molars may require a more durable material (metal or zirconia) because of the intense pressure they endure when you chew food.
Placement of a permanent crown used to require multiple dental visits and a period of waiting in between. During the time between appointments, a temporary crown was worn. The temporary could break or become dislodged, in which case the patient needed an emergency dental visit to replace the temporary. The inconvenience of two visits for a dental crown is no longer necessary.
What can CEREC do?
Knowing that your time is valuable, Dr. Van Wicklen employs Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic (CEREC) to complete a crown in only one visit.
In addition to full dental crowns, CEREC can fabricate inlays and onlays, or partial crowns. Inlays fit between the cusps on top of a tooth, and onlays fit over a cusp and down the side of a tooth. These partial crowns may be ideal when a filling would almost, but not quite provide a sufficient restoration. Inlays and onlays, then, offer a conservative alternative to a crown in some cases.
How is CEREC different?
Instead of taking a traditional impression of your teeth with a tray full of unpleasant goop that hardens over several minutes, Dr. Van Wicklen will coat your tooth with a powder. He’ll then capture a digital image of that tooth with a specially designed camera – a procedure that only takes a minute or two.
The dentist will use special 3-D software to create a design based on the image. The design will be sent to our in-office CEREC milling machine that uses CAD/CAM technology to fabricate crowns, inlays, and onlays. A block of porcelain, colored to match your teeth, will be milled into a custom restoration that will blend seamlessly into your smile. When the crown is completed, Dr. Van Wicklen will cement it into place, make adjustments to ensure correct occlusion, and polish your new crown. The entire procedure can be completed in just one visit.
For more information about one-visit crowns, contact our south Austin dental office. You can schedule a dental appointment with Dr. Van Wicklen by calling 512-448-3131. We are happy to serve the cities of Austin, Round Rock, Pflugerville, Bastrop, Bee Cave, Cedar Park, and communities near the 78704 zip code.