You’ve heard the saying that art imitates life. Well, sometimes life imitates art, too.
Jules Verne’s Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea inspired the invention of the first submarines.
The communicators used in the original Star Trek television series inspired the creation of the first cellular phones.
We don’t know if the machine that makes our CEREC dental crowns was inspired by science fiction, but it seems like something that would have been considered impossible not that long ago.
Think about it. Today you can walk into any Beaumont Family Dentistry office in Lexington with a tooth that is damaged, decayed, or discolored and leave with what amounts to a fully functioning replica of a real tooth.
Real World Technology
Going back to Star Trek for a moment, one of the items used in the show was a device called a replicator. This was a machine that could instantaneously create almost anything that the user wanted.
Now, we aren’t there yet, but three-dimensional printers are very real. Believe it or not, they have been used to build a car, a lawn mower, and miniature power tools.
Our CEREC machine isn’t quite the same as a 3D printer, but it does one job quite well. It turns small blocks of porcelain into dental crowns for our patients.
By having this machine in our office, we can prepare your tooth for a crown and place it in your mouth before you leave.
Real World Benefits
Let’s take a step back for a moment to discuss the benefits that you can get from any dental crown.
While dental crowns can be considered a part of restorative dentistry, you’ll find that they can provide cosmetic improvements at the same time. Here are some reasons why you or someone you know may want to get a dental crown:
► You have tooth decay.
Tooth decay starts with the bacteria that live in your mouth. If they aren’t removed regularly (brushing and flossing), then they can form plaque and tartar. This build-up allows the bacteria a place to eat into your teeth.
As bacteria eat through the protective enamel, they damage the structure of your tooth. This can weaken your tooth, which can make it painful to bite or chew.
A dental crown can be used to replace the weakened parts of your tooth so you can eat without pain once again.
► You have a discolored tooth.
You may be wondering how a single tooth can look much yellower or darker than the teeth around it. Sometimes tooth decay is the reason, but it’s not the only possibility.
Another possibility is that you suffered some kind of trauma to the affected tooth. Maybe you got hit in the mouth accidentally, or maybe you missed (or didn’t see) a ball thrown in your direction.
► You have a weak tooth.
Again, tooth decay can be a factor here. If you had cavities when you were younger, then you may have received a filling.
If you’ve had the filling for a while, it may wear down, come loose, or need to be replaced. If you have replaced multiple fillings, it may have worn down the tooth as well. A dental crown can provide a long-term solution to this problem.
► You have a chipped tooth.
Chipped teeth happen frequently. People sometimes bite into things that are a little too hard to chew. Accidents happen, too, and sometimes they cause people to lose part of a tooth.
Same Day Solution
Here is what really sets CEREC crowns apart from other dental crowns.
Once you and your dentist decide that you should get a dental crown, he or she will make an impression. (At Beaumont Family Dentistry, we make digital impressions, which are faster and more accurate.)
At other offices, that impression is sent to a laboratory so they can create your crown. At our office, that digital impression is sent to the CEREC machine.
At this point, the dentist will begin reshaping your tooth into an abutment. This is where your dental crown will be bonded in place.
Now, at another dentist office, the dentist may place a temporary crown on your tooth. This will serve as a place-holder until your real dental crown is sent back from the lab. It may be a few weeks before you get your crown.
At Beaumont Family Dentistry, our CEREC machine will make your dental crown while you wait. That same day, we will place your dental crown. You won’t need to make a second appointment in a few weeks.
You will be able to eat just like you could with a real tooth, and your crown will look like it’s just one of your natural teeth, too.
Find Out More
To learn more about how CEREC same-day dental crowns could help you or someone you know, call any of our dentist offices in Lexington, or click on the office closest to you to fill out our online appointment form.