Category Archives: CEREC Crowns

My Teeth…My Choice, Right?

I don’t understand my dentist’s attitude. I need two dental crowns on my front teeth. I want CEREC crowns. My dentist says no, even though he has a CEREC machine. I’ve heard all-porcelain is the best for front teeth. CEREC are all-porcelain, so what’s the problem? It’s my teeth. Shouldn’t I choose?

Ben M. – Texas

Ben,

I understand your frustration. And I see your point of view. I’m sure you’ll be able to find a dentist who will happily give you CEREC crowns on your front teeth.  However, before you make a decision, I want you to understand your dentist’s reasons for saying no. Then, when you have all the information you can make a fully informed decision.

Your dentist likely is also a skilled cosmetic dentist. He’s looking out for your appearance. Yes, you’re right that they are made of all porcelain. The difference is unlike a traditionally made all-porcelain crown, their CEREC crown counterparts are milled from a single block of porcelain. They’ll still be beautiful, but not nearly as beautiful as those teeth that were taken from different blocks of porcelain.

Our teeth are not uniform. The centers are more milky and the color gradually gets more translucent as you move down toward the bottom edges. Having different blocks of porcelain helps mimic those minute changes. It will give you a more natural look.  With most teeth the difference is hardly discernible, but front teeth are different. They’re so visible, that those minute changes in porcelain make a huge difference.

It sounds to me that your dentist wasn’t trying to boss you around. Instead, he wants to make sure you have the best care possible. It would have been nice for him to explain that to you instead of just making a proclamation. Sometimes dentists, with the best of intentions, forget what it’s like to be a patient.

The thing to ask yourself before deciding is if one-appointment is worth you not having your teeth as gorgeous and natural-looking as possible. The biggest issue is that they’re your front teeth, not that CEREC-crowns are a lesser treatment.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.

 

Would a CEREC Crown Have Saved My Tooth?

I really wanted to have a CEREC crown done, but my dentist didn’t have the machine.  I’ve been a loyal patient of his for 10 years, so I went ahead with a regular one. My back right molar had a root canal about six months ago, but he wanted me to wait and see how it did for a few weeks before restoring it and then I got called away for work, so I didn’t make it back in when he wanted me to come. Then, about two weeks ago, I went in to have it prepped. The dentist reshaped it and his assistant made a temporary to fit over the top. I ended up flying out of town on business the next day and while I was gone, the temporary broke. When I called the office, they said I’d be fine as long as I was careful. Well, I was careful, but it broke anyway. I went into the office yesterday and the dentist said that, not only will the crown not fit anymore, but that the tooth cannot be saved. I’ve already invested close to $2,000 in this tooth and it’s just gone. The dentist says this would have happened regardless of the treatment because the tooth had become brittle over the root canal. Should I get a second opinion and would the CEREC crown have prevented this or would it have broken off anyway?

Ashley H. – North Little Rock, AR

Dear Ashley,

Yes, you should get a second opinion. If you’re talking about having an extraction and you think there’s enough tooth left that it can be saved, there’s no harm in seeing if someone else agrees. It is almost always better to save a tooth than to replace it.

There’s something off about what your dentist is saying, though. It’s very rare for a tooth to become brittle that soon after a root canal. It’s possible, but unlikely. However, without the temporary crown on, it would be exposed and more likely to become damaged.

Letting you go without it wasn’t a good choice. I realize you were out of town, but he should have recommended you see an emergency dentist, so you’d have some kind of coverage on the tooth.

It sounds more like he’s being defensive of his work, so you can’t find fault in him for not offering CEREC crowns. Whether the tooth broke because it was brittle or because that extra week or so without the temporary was the straw that broke the camel’s back is somewhat irrelevant, though.

The benefit of the  CEREC crown is the work would have been done that day and the tooth wouldn’t have been exposed and damaged. However, a traditional crown, done properly and on time  would have been strong enough to withstand any kind of normal biting force as well.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.

My Dentist Won’t Do CEREC On My Front Teeth

I have had a CEREC crown before and LOVED it. The convenience. I go in once and done.  No ugly, uncomfortable temporaries. No missing work for two appointments. However, now I need a crown on a front tooth, but my dentist won’t give me a CEREC. He insists those need to be done the old fashion way. Why?

Maria Mae – Ohio

Maria Mae,

If I were to take a guess, I would say that your dentist also does a significant amount of cosmetic dental work as part of his practice.  Your teeth are made of different layers, each having a different mix of colors and opacity. When a crown is made the “old fashion way” as your dentist is suggesting, these layers can be shaped to have that variety.

A CEREC crown, on the other hand, is milled from a single block of porcelain. That limits the variety significantly. When you’re talking about teeth not in the forefront of your smile, those subtle differences don’t matter as much. CEREC crowns blend in fine with the rest of your teeth in those cases.

Front teeth, however, are a different story. The way the light hits your front teeth, combined with their visibility, puts the standard of natural looking crowns significantly higher. Your dentist, who cares about the aesthetics of your appearance, wants to make sure you have the most beautiful, natural looking smile possible.

I hope this helps you understand his position.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.

Do CEREC Crowns Always Pick Up Stains?

I had a CEREC crown placed about 7 months ago.  Now it’s starting to pick up stains and looks darker than the rest of my teeth. Is it normal for CEREC crowns to pick up stains?

Gineen L. – California

Gineen,

No, CEREC crowns are milled from porcelain, which is quite stain resistant. I can’t be certain, because I haven’t examined your crown, but it sounds like the glaze has been removed from your crown.

You mentioned it’s been seven months. That tells me that you likely had them cleaned recently. If your dental hygienist used something like a prophy jet, it would have removed the glaze from your crowns. Then they’d begin picking up stains.

I’d talk to your dentist and have him or her look at your crown. If the glaze was removed by the hygienist, they’ll likely be willing to replace the crown for you.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.

Should I switch dentists if mine doesn’t do CEREC crowns?

I need to have a dental crown. I was really keen on getting a CEREC crown, because I’m new at work and get no personal time yet. They’ve made it clear that if I miss a lot of work I won’t be retained in the position. A one visit crown sounds perfect. My dentist doesn’t do them, so I’m wondering if I should switch dentists. Is it worth it? Are they as strong as the regular kind?

Camille V. – Portland, OR

Camille,

You’re in a tough spot. CEREC crowns aren’t any better or worse than regular crowns.  Though, they’re not always done of front teeth because they’re milled with a single block of porcelain and many dentists prefer having a more varicolored option.

It seems the bigger benefit to you would be the single appointment, but switching to another dentist might require two visits anyway. One for a consultation and another for the appointment.

My suggestion would be to see if your dentist would be willing to do the second appointment either after hours or on a Saturday. If you explain your situation he or she may be willing to come on off hours to help you.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.

Is CEREC causing me pain?

I have pain when I chew. This didn’t happen until I got a CEREC crown. Could that be the problem?

Elizabeth D. –  Texas

Elizabeth,

It’s like not the fact that it is a CEREC crown. These usually have a better shot of fitting properly because they’re milled by computer.

There are two possible issues I can think of that could be the cause of your problem.

  1.  The crown could be placed to high. If that’s the case, your dentist can simply adjust it and you won’t feel any more pain when you bite. The reason this causes pain is the crown is above the other teeth, so when you bite down you hit this first and harder. It will give you quite a jolt.
  2. The second thing that could be the problem, is if there is still some infection there.  It’s easy for there to be a canal left, even if the dentist did everything right. These can get tricky.  You can go to a root canal specialist to do an x-ray.  They usually have good diagnostic skills in these case.

I hoep this helps you.  This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.

Why can only CEREC crowns be same day?

My dentist said the only type of crown he can get me in one day is CEREC crowns. They’re more expensive than my normal crown. How come he can get me one brand but not another in one day?

Marissa A. – Maryland

Marissa,

The difference is in how the crowns are made. A CEREC crown is milled by a computerized machine. The dentists who place CEREC crowns purchase those machines and have them in their office. So, after they scan you and design the crown to fit your specific bite.  That is what enables them to do it the same day.

Other dental crowns are sent away to a lab where technicians make them. It takes time to do that. Plus, there is the travel time back and forth.

That’s the biggest difference. It’s not just your dentist trying to force you into a brand.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.

CEREC Crown or Extraction

I have a tooth that has given me fits for a year now. My dentist now wants to put a CEREC crown on it. Wouldn’t it be better to just get rid of the tooth and get a fake one?

Djokiv – New York

Djokiv,

Many dentists feel it is best to preserve as much natural tooth structure as possible. If you didn’t get the CEREC crown, what would you replace it with?

A dental bridge? Then you’d have to get two other crowns on each adjacent tooth.

A dental implant? That feels and functions more like having your own natural tooth, but you will need to consider that possibility of a procedural failure.

A partial denture?  The CEREC crown will be much more comfortable and stable.

I won’t tell you which to do, just to consider all the options and possibilities.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.

Do CEREC crowns fall off more than others?

I had a CEREC crown placed a month ago. In that time, it has fallen off twice.  My friend Elizabeth said that she always gets regular crowns and they never fall off. Are mine falling off because they’re CEREC? It’s getting expensive getting these put back on.

Jennie L. – Oregon

Jennie,

No, the problem isn’t that it is a CEREC crown. In fact, CEREC crowns do just as well, if not better, than regular crowns. If you have a crown falling off, the problem is your dentist. Most dentists go their entire career without one crown falling off. I can’t imagine what your dentist is doing wrong to have it fall off twice.

I can’t believe your dentist is charging you money to fix his incompetence.  If I were in your place, I would request a refund for the “repairs”. Then I would ask him to pay for you to go to a competent dentist and have your crown bonded on.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. John Theriot.

Do my crowns mismatch because one is CEREC?

I have two adjacent crowns. One is a normal dental crown. Then the second one I only got this week. It’s a CEREC crown. They don’t match one another. Is it because one is CEREC and one isn’t? The CEREC one is whiter.

Kate B. – New York

Kate,

The problem isn’t that one is a CEREC crown and the other isn’t. The problem is the artistry of your dentist.  Color can be matched if the dentist is skilled enough.

There is one way in which CEREC and other all porcelain crown. The CEREC crowns are milled from a single block of porcelain. A dentist can use more than one for traditional all porcelain, which can do some more subtlties than a single block.

If the color difference is obvious, I would go back and ask my dentist to fix it.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. John Theriot.