Same-day vs Traditional Dental Crowns

Emergency dental care can mean more than fast fillings and rapid tooth removals. When a tooth becomes broken or falls out and cannot be replaced, many patients find they can’t wait for the standard methods of repair. Whether it’s the week of your wedding or a short-notice guest appearance, time is of the essence. The differences between same-day versus traditional dental crowns may transform the first impression from fractured to fabulous!

Everyone’s smile is different, and at Allred Dental we want our patients to find the treatment that works best for them. If you suffer from cracked, damaged, or missing dentition and are interested in same-day or conventional crowns, call our San Marcos, CA office to schedule an appointment today. Our team is proud to help our patients in the San Marcos, Oceanside, and Encinitas areas bring their smiles back to life!

woman smiling after getting same-day dental crowns

Who Needs Dental Crowns?

Just like the tires on your car or the soles of your shoes, teeth go through a lot of wear during your lifetime. Even the most careful of people may fall prey to accidents that may cause dentition to chip or break. Patients can find a permanent solution to tooth damage or loss through dental crowns, which serve to protect or replace missing teeth entirely!

Same-day and traditional crowns are used to take care of similar problems, especially since technology has made in-office fabrication just as precise and reliable as their off-site counterparts. As such, they can be used to treat a variety of conditions. Some of the most common issues include:

  • Covering misshapen or discolored teeth
  • Protecting severely decayed dentition
  • Restoring worn-down or broken teeth
  • Capping a dental implant
  • Securing a dental bridge
  • Covering a root canal

Because dentists try to preserve as much of your original dentition as possible, covering damaged teeth is often the preferred method of repair. Combined with dental implants, crowns provide a long-lasting and effective answer to many patients’ issues.

Myriad of Materials

One of the most appealing aspects of dental crowns is how well they mimic the look and feel of natural teeth. Based on the materials used in their construction, patients have a wealth of options that let them focus on aesthetics and durability. In addition, the type of material used may also affect the type of procedure needed as well as influence the cost overall. The most common components used in crown manufacturing include:

  • Inert Metals: Gold teeth aren’t just for cowboys anymore. Many patients admire the look and appreciate the durability of crowns made from gold, stainless steel, and even zirconia.
  • Porcelain: Ceramic options are an excellent choice because they can be tinted to match well with your other teeth. Their entirely porcelain construction does make them more prone to cracking and breakage.
  • Porcelain-Fused: Constructed with a metal core and an outer casing of tinted porcelain, these crowns are an excellent compromise for both look and durability, though they may leave dark lines around the gums over time.
  • Milled Ceramic: One of the quickest (and prettiest) options, these crowns are made in-house with specialized milling machines that craft a brand new tooth from a solid block of ceramic.
  • Resin: The fastest to produce but the weakest overall, resin crowns are often used as placeholders until more permanent options become available.

When it comes to cost, metal crowns are generally the least expensive. More exotic materials such as zirconium may cost a bit more, and complete porcelain options tend to be the most expensive. Porcelain-fused metal crowns are an excellent overall option thanks to their lower cost and increased strength.

Traditional Timeframes

When discussing the differences concerning same-day versus traditional dental crowns, it’s important to note that many of the preparatory procedures are the same for both options. The affected area needs to be healthy and ready for treatment which may also include repairing other surrounding teeth. If the crown is replacing an already existing tooth, it may need to be shaved down to make room for the crown.

Dental implants require a much longer treatment plan. Before the crown can be attached, the implant will need to be seated and they are healed, a process that may take several weeks to months. Once recovery is complete, an abutment to connect the crown and implant is put in place and also allowed time to heal. Only then can the crown be put in place. 

Traditional crowns are an excellent option for patients looking to replace missing teeth using dental implants. The treatment and healing times for implants give off-site manufacturers plenty of time to color match and create your new crowns. This process may take a few weeks, and patients looking for more immediate results may wish to look into the alternative.

Same-Day Success

A full implant treatment plan that takes months doesn’t help the bride who lost a tooth the week of her wedding. When you need a replacement fast, a same-day crown may be your best option. Unlike traditional tooth caps, this option has crowns designed, fabricated and fit all in one sitting! The procedure uses state-of-the-art technology called Chairside Economical  Restoration of Esthetic Ceramic, or CEREC for short.

CEREC machines allow your dentist to scan your mouth and craft an optimal-looking, color-matched crown that can be fit and secured all in a single office visit. The crown is designed in a CAD program and milled with precision machinery from a solid block of medical-grade ceramic. There are a number of benefits to this speedy procedure, such as:

  • Restores Function Immediately: A missing tooth affects how people eat and speak. CEREC crowns mean not having to rely on a temporary tooth until the fully functional one is ready.
  • Improved Looks: A damaged smile can be devastating to your self-confidence, though you can get your looks back right away using same-day crowns.
  • Lessens Injury: Loose-fitting temporary crowns may slip and cause more damage while you wait for the permanent one to arrive.
  • More Comfortable: An ill-fitting crown may feel just as bad as the damaged tooth it is replacing. Same-day crowns can be adjusted on the spot without needing to reschedule an appointment when the new and hopefully better fitting crown is delivered.
  • Saves Money: While CEREC crowns may cost more initially, patients don’t have to schedule additional office visits to replace temporary ones, which may cause costs to add up.

Another overlooked aspect of same-day crowns is their compatibility with dental implants. Using CEREC technology, dentists can fabricate replacement crowns the very same day. This also benefits those getting implants for the first time as well. When fully healed, patients won’t need to wait for refits or tint adjustments since their crown is made while they wait!

While patients may be drawn to the convenience of same-day crowns, it’s important to note that there are some disadvantages to the process. Because they are made entirely of ceramic material, these crowns aren’t as strong as some of their more traditional counterparts. Even so, ceramic options are still very durable and will last seven to ten years using standard oral hygiene practices. In addition, the CEREC procedure doesn’t look for fractures that may have occurred below the gum line, which may make it unsuitable for more serious cases.

Considering Costs

On average, same-day crowns are more expensive than traditional options. Dental offices must have access to precise, sophisticated, and costly equipment to make sure your cowl looks and feels right. However, there is more to consider than the initial price tag. Patients can save money because the treatment plan involves fewer steps and thus less time at the dentist’s office.

There are also the costs associated with missing work or other responsibilities. You may need to reschedule an important meeting or get behind on a project making time for extra appointments. For many people, closing down the store or taking additional sick leave just isn’t an option. There are also some events that can’t be rescheduled, and most brides will admit that having a bright and beautiful smile on their wedding day is priceless!

Out-of-pocket expenses are often another concern. Many insurance plans don’t fully cover cosmetic crowns. If the damage is more than for aesthetics, policies may take care of much of the cost. At Allred Dental, we also offer membership plans as well as financing options including CareCredit® and Compassionate Financial™. No one should have to break the bank just to show off their beautiful smile!

Same-Day Crowns with Allred Dental

Whether it’s to prepare for your big day or just to get you on your way, the Allred Dental office makes same-day crowns the easy choice for most patients. Call Allred Dental today to schedule a consultation.  If you’re in the San Marcos, Encinitas, and Oceanside areas, make an appointment to learn how you can save your smile in a single visit!

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