Even though we love coming into our office everyday, we know that you have other places you’d rather spend your time. However, there are certain dental procedures that can take longer than others. In most cases, this is due to the fact that these procedures use dental restorations fabricated by an outside dental laboratory. This is why dental restorations such as crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, and veneers generally require a minimum of two dental appointments spaced about 1-2 weeks apart.
Luckily, our in-office milling machine allows us to provide you with dental care that is faster than ever before, getting you in and out without the hassle of multiple dental appointments. Using a CAD/CAM machine to fabricate your dental restoration in our office, we are able to bypass the need for a dental laboratory. Not only does this mean that your restoration will be completed within the same day, but it also eliminates the need for a temporary restoration.
While this sounds promising, at this point you are probably wondering just how long a same day restoration takes. After all, we’re sure you’d like to avoid having to spend the entire day at the dentist’s office. The good news is that it won’t take an entire day of waiting to get your same day restoration. However, the exact amount of time it will take can vary. To understand why this is, we must take a brief look at the process of placing an indirect restoration.
Indirect restorations are those that must be fabricated outside of the mouth before being placed. As mentioned above, these include crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, and veneers. Since these restorations are fabricated outside of the mouth, varying amounts of alterations will need to be made to the affected tooth. For example, veneers require the removal of a thin layer of enamel, while dental crowns require the tooth to be reduced in size. Ultimately, the type of restoration being placed will determine the extent to which your tooth must be prepared and, thus, the time it will take to complete the preparation.
Once the tooth has been prepared for the desired restoration, a dental impression or oral scan will be taken of your mouth to obtain the necessary information to fabricate a customized restoration. This information is then sent to our in-office milling machine to begin fabrication. At this point, you will have the option to leave our office and return later or staying to wait. The time it takes to fabricate your dental restoration is slightly more predictable than how long it takes to prepare your tooth. On average, it takes about 60-90 minutes to fabricate an indirect restoration using our CAD/CAM machine.
The first step of the fabrication process is to carve the desired restoration from a block of porcelain, composite, or lithium disilicate. The carving process, which takes about 20 minutes, uses several small burs to gradually reduce the block into the proper shape, size, and texture for the restoration being fabricated. Once the restoration has been shaped, it will be stained and glazed for another 20 minutes to obtain the desired coloration. The final step in the fabrication process is to fire the restoration for about 15-20 minutes to permanently set the color and shape.
After the fabrication process has been completed, your dentist will examine the finished restoration and remove any debris left over from the fabrication process. The restoration will be placed on your tooth to check that it fits your tooth and bite properly. At this point, some minor adjustments may need to be made to ensure that the restoration will fit comfortably. The final step is to cement the restoration.
As you can see, our in-office milling machine allows our patients to have indirect dental restorations placed in a timely manner. Instead of two dental appointments spaced about 1-2 weeks apart, our patients can have indirect restorations such as crowns, bridges, inlays, onlays, and veneers placed in a single dental appointment. Although the exact length of this appointment can vary, it still saves you hours of sitting in the dental chair.