Our teeth are subjected to an enormous amount of pressure throughout our lifetimes, which can lead to chips, cracks, fractures, or other damage. A dental crown is essentially a custom-designed cap that will protect a damaged tooth from any further deterioration. These restorations are commonly used to strengthen a tooth following a a fracture or root canal procedure. Crowns can also be used to replace a missing tooth by topping a dental implant. Traditionally, these restorations require at least two office visits before they can be secured in place. However, thanks to digital CEREC® technology, dental crowns placed by Dr. Roni Berbari in Montreal, Quebec, can now be crafted and permanently bonded in just one visit. Our in-office CEREC® machine uses computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM) technology to create beautiful, durable restorations in just minutes. If you have suffered damage to a tooth and would like to learn more about how a dental crown can repair and protect its structure, please contact our office to make an appointment with Dr. Berbari.
Preparing the Tooth for Treatment
When you come into our office for your routine checkups and hygienic cleanings, Dr. Berbari may discover a tooth that has suffered from damage or decay. You might also become aware of an issue due to sensitivity to hot and cold temperatures, or discomfort during chewing. He will first try to treat any signs of damage with a composite filling, but larger areas of decay may require a more extensive treatment. If Dr. Berbari determines that a crown is the most appropriate treatment, he will begin by preparing the tooth to accommodate your customized dental restoration.
Dr. Berbari will first remove small portions of the damaged tooth and reshape it to create a suitable foundation for your new crown. After removing all areas of damage and decay, Dr. Berbari will further shape the chewing surface and sides of the tooth in order to accommodate the restoration. This is a very important step because the crown needs to fit over the treated tooth, but still be the same size as the surrounding teeth so that it does not affect your bite or the appearance of your smile.
When your tooth has been fully prepared for the dental crown, Dr. Berbari will take a digital impression using an intraoral scanner. This device resembles a small wand that uses different wavelengths to create a 3D representation of your teeth and surrounding structures. Unlike traditional impressions, it does not require messy gels or uncomfortable trays. This information will be used to fabricate your same-day dental crown in our office during your appointment.
CEREC® and CAD/CAM Technology
Traditionally, the dental crown procedure is divided into at least two office visits. During your first appointment, your doctor would complete any necessary work to prepare your tooth for treatment and take an impression that would be sent to a partnering dental laboratory. The lab would use this impression and other instructions to fabricate your crown over the course of a two to three-week period. During this time, a temporary restoration would be placed. Once the restoration was complete, it would be sent back to your dentist's office. The patient would return for a second appointment and the dentist would place the crown, bonding it with dental cement. Any necessary adjustments would be completed to ensure proper functionality and a comfortable fit.
While this method is effective and produces high-quality dental restorations, more recent advancements have allowed us to simplify the process. We can now take impressions of your teeth digitally, and using CAD/CAM technology, design and manufacture your restoration in our office while you wait in the dentist's chair. Using these digital impressions, we will design your customized crown and send it to our CEREC® milling machine. This machine fabricates your crown by shaping a solid block of ceramic porcelain to the precise dimensions that we have designed using your digital impressions. The resulting restorations are strong and durable, and look and feel just like natural teeth.
Placing Your Dental Crown
When your permanent crown is ready, Dr. Berbari will place it over the damaged tooth and bond it in place using a strong dental adhesive. He will take great care to place your crown so that it sits evenly along the gum line and blends seamlessly with the surrounding teeth. Dr. Berbari will make any necessary adjustments to ensure that your permanent restoration is comfortable and does not interfere with your bite. He will then buff and polish your dental crown so that the texture is smooth and it complements your smile.
For patients who are missing teeth, an implant-supported dental crown can also fill the gap is your smile. An implant is a titanium post that is surgically embedded in the jawbone to replace the missing tooth's roots. During the minor surgery required to place the implant, Dr. Berbari will make a small incision in your gums to allow him access to the underlying bone structure. He will place the implant within your jawbone and close the incision. The surgical site will be allowed to heal for approximately four months to give the implant sufficient time to fuse with your bone. This process, called osseointegration, provides a durable and stable foundation for your new dental crown. Implants also have the added benefit of preserving your oral health. In addition to the crown filling a gap in your smile, the implant itself can prevent future jawbone deterioration. When a patient has suffered tooth loss, the jawbone can begin to deteriorate because it is no longer receiving stimulation from the tooth's roots. Treatment with dental implant-supported crowns, bridges, or dentures are the only restorative method that can prevent this process.
Benefits of Dental Crowns
The most apparent benefit of treatment with a dental crown is that a damaged tooth will be repaired and protected, or a missing tooth will be replaced. When a patient has suffered damage to a tooth, it will often result in uncomfortable symptoms such as sensitivity, pain, inflammation, bad breath, fever, or in extreme cases, an abscess. Treatment with a dental crown, and the associated preparatory work, will relieve these symptoms and allow you to chew and speak as you normally would.
Placing a dental crown can restore balance to your bite and achieve proper alignment. Missing or misshapen teeth can disrupt the natural balance of your bite and lead to the development of temporomandibular joint (TMJ) disorder. Crowns that are individually tailored for your smile allow your upper and lower teeth to meet comfortably with the bite pressure balanced equally across both jaws.
Our porcelain dental crowns also serve as a cosmetic enhancement to your smile because your restoration will be color-matched to the shade of the surrounding teeth. If you have suffered damage or the loss of a tooth that is in a prominent location, like the front of the mouth, a crown can restore symmetry and a uniform appearance.
Make a Same-day Crown Appointment
If you suffer from tooth loss or extensive damage to one of your teeth, same-day restorations can improve your oral health in just one visit. To learn more about whether a dental crown is right for you, please contact our office and schedule a consultation with Dr. Berbari.