Dental Crown Procedure

NJ Dentist using Intra Oral Scanner

When providing patient care, our goal is to always do our best to provide a comfortable and pleasant experience for our patients.  Dental crowns have become a common procedure for patients to repair broken and decayed teeth. We also complete crowns for root canal treated teeth and use crowns to replace missing teeth with bridges or implant crowns. With improvement in dental technology, we are now able to offer patients intra-oral scanners to assist in the crown procedure and in the fabrication of the crown when possible.

During a crown procedure, we record how the tooth looks after preparing it for a crown and usually utilize a special tray with some mould material to record an impression of the tooth. This impression is sent to the lab to fabricate a zirconia or porcelain or gold or metal crown. With the advent of technology, we are now able to utilize a 3Shape TRIOS intraoral scanner to record how the tooth looks before and after preparing it for a crown and can send this information digitally to the lab. By using the intraoral scanner, we can limit the use of the larger trays and gooey mould material by placing the small and more comfortable scanner inside the mouth to create a mould of the tooth.

We can also send this information digitally to the lab so they can see more accurately the specific contours of the tooth and can utilize this information to make a well fitting crown. We can improve the turnaround time for the crown delivery and insertion as the crown impression is sent digitally, avoiding shipping delays to the lab. Obviously, the crown still does need to be shipped back to our office from the lab. Lastly, this is a great tool to help patients see what the tooth looks like before, during, and after treatment to help communicate diagnosis and recommended treatment.

As with any technology, there are some limitations to the intraoral scanner. For example, the intraoral scanner cannot be used in cases where the crown preparation is too far below the gum and the camera cannot capture that area of the tooth accurately. Also, we cannot use this scanner if we are unable to isolate the tooth from saliva and blood long enough to capture the scan for the crown mould. In such situations, we are able to utilize the traditional method for crown impressions by using an impression tray and mould material.

This intra-oral scanner can be utilized for other purposes in dentistry including making dentures, night guards/ mouth guards, clear braces like Invisalign, and surgical guides for implant placement. We are happy to provide this resource to our patients and look forward to utilizing other dental technologies in the future.