Theriot Family Dental

CEREC Crowns for Front Teeth

I need a dental crown placed on a front tooth and I’d prefer to have one of those same-day dental crowns. My dentist doesn’t do them. Should I just get a referral to someone who does or is there a reason not to get them?

Max

Dear Max,

example of a cerec crown block

CEREC crowns or same-day crowns, as they are sometimes called, are fine in some cases. They are very convenient and do well in many circumstances. Front teeth may be the exception. If you are looking for completely natural-looking crowns, then you would need one of the top 1% of cosmetic dentists to pull this off on front teeth.

Our teeth are not uniform in color and opacity from top to bottom. There are many variations. When a traditional crown is made, it is built layer by layer using a variety of porcelain in order to mimic those subtle differences. CEREC crowns are milled from a single block of porcelain. They won’t have any variation. Instead, you’ll have a more flat, one-dimensional appearance. With most teeth, that is fine. Our front teeth are different. The light hits them directly when we smile. This makes all the variations more visible. If you had a uniform color on a front tooth, then the tooth will look fake.

If convenience is your priority, and you don’t care if the teeth are an exact match, then you are fine to use CEREC with just about any dentist who offers that option. However, if you want a natural-looking crown, you will need a top-notch cosmetic dentist who knows how to add shades and stains to give the crowns that natural appearance.

A separate consideration is the color of your natural teeth. If they are white enough and you are satisfied with your color, there is no need to read any further. However, if you think you’ll want to whiten your teeth in the near future, then you had better whiten them before your dental crown is made. Otherwise, when you do whiten your teeth, you will have to replace the crown to get it to match. Doing your teeth whitening ahead of time, saves you that additional expense.

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