Category Archives: CEREC crowns

CEREC Crown Disaster

Everything I’ve read about CEREC crowns and their procedure leads me to think my dentist was way off on how she handled my particular case. What’s done is done, but I just need to make sure the sensitivity I’m feeling is normal and will go away after some healing or if I have a problem. When the dentist did my crown, she said my tooth was in too bad a shape to get a good image so she was just going to pull one from a CEREC database. I wasn’t too worried because the advertisements all talk about how perfectly these crowns fit. Well, it didn’t. It was too big all around. She spent well over an hour grinding down all the sides of it. Not only was that remarkably uncomfortable, but it doesn’t even look like a real tooth anymore. It looks more like a box. Plus, every time I eat or drink something cold it zings me. Will that end after a period of time or do I have a problem on my hands?

Dirk B.

Dear Dirk,

Gilbert CEREC Crowns
A CEREC Machine

You have a problem. You’re also right that this seems to be a disaster. CEREC crowns should be able to be placed in minutes. I have no idea what your dentist meant by your tooth was in too bad a shape to get a good image. It’s only teeth which are in bad shape that need a dental crown to begin with. I have no idea why she couldn’t get a clear image.

The only thing I can think of with an image database is when she input into the CEREC machine which tooth she was going to crown. It will give her a basic image to work from, then she’ll put images of the surrounding and opposing teeth so the computer can design a crown with a perfect fit. It sounds like your dentist had absolutely no idea what she was doing.

Get a New CEREC Crown

The sensitivity to cold concerns me. It sounds like your dentist left an open margin. That not only causes some pain when you drink something cold, but it also allows food and drinks to get trapped in there. You don’t want to leave any opening for decay. A mistake like this can cost you your tooth. Then, you won’t be trying to get a crown, but a complete tooth replacement.

You need to get a new CEREC crown made. But, you’ll want to go about this in a way that won’t cost you any more money. You’ll first need to get a second opinion from a dentist verifying everything I’ve said so you have ammunition. Do NOT tell the second opinion dentist the story you told me. Just tell them you want them to look at your crown. Also, do NOT tell them who your dentist is. You don’t want any friendship or misplaced sense of loyalty to cause them to waver in their true opinion. If they pressure you to know, tell them you’ll let them know AFTER they give their opinion. Tell them you just want their pure, untainted thoughts.

Once what I suspect is confirmed, don’t just ask for a refund. Your dentist should also pay for any expenses you incur to fix her botched job.

I hope this helps.
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Will CEREC Crowns Hold Up as Well as Regular Crowns If I Grind?

My dentist just got a CEREC machine and wants me to get one for my new cavity. I’m a little concerned it won’t hold up as well as regular crowns. I tend to grind my teeth at night. Is he wanting me to get these just to try out his machine or are they legitimately strong? I don’t want to waste money.

Greg L.

Dear Greg,

Gilbert CEREC Crown

Both CEREC crowns and traditional crowns are equally strong. The biggest difference is one is milled by computer and can be completed during your appointment instead of having to be sent out to a lab to be completed. This eliminates the need for a second appointment or a temporary crown.

However, if you are a teeth grinder that needs to be addressed right away. Your crowns, whether traditional or CEREC, will not hold up to the stress the grinding places on them. Truthfully, neither will your natural teeth. It’s likely the reason you’ve had to have so many dental crowns to begin with.

Not only does teeth grinding wear down your enamel which leaves your teeth vulnerable to both decay and cracking, it also will cause jaw pain, headaches, and eventually TMJ. That can become serious.

I’m very surprised your dentist hasn’t recommended a night guard to protect your teeth. As soon as your crown is completed, you need to be fit for a custom nightguard. You won’t be able to stop grinding your teeth, especially if you do it mostly in your sleep. However, the nightguard protects them from the stress of the grinding.

After that, a well made dental crown can last upwards of 15 years.

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Why Does My CEREC Crown Look Like a Piece of Chicklet Gum?

My dentist got in this new CEREC machine. He was so excited. In fact, I remember him talking about how he couldn’t wait to get it at my last appointment. So, when I needed a crown, he was almost giddy. He’d get to use his new toy. I was happy for him and happy about only needing one appointment. But, when I got the crown, it’s way whiter than the rest of my teeth and looks like a rectangular piece of Chicklet gum. I can’t believe my dentist was so excited about this. Is that was CEREC crowns always look like? I wouldn’t mind if it were a back tooth, but it’s a front tooth and very distracting.

Cyrill K.

Dear Cyrill,

I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase, “The only difference between men and boys is the size of their toys.” It sounds like your dentist was as joyful as a boy at Christmas with his new CEREC machine. While it is the CEREC which mills the crowns, it’s the dentist who designs the crown.

If your crown looks like unnatural, it’s not because it’s a CEREC crown. It’s because your dentist isn’t a skilled cosmetic dentist. Have you tried telling him how unhappy you are with the crown? He might be willing to re-do it, especially if it means he gets to use his new machine again. Or, he may give you a refund.

If the color difference is the only issue, you may want to consider whitening the surrounding teeth to match the crown. Any teeth whitening you do will not affect the crown. It only changes the color of natural tooth structures. However, you mentioned the shape being different from the other teeth too, so re-doing it is the only thing which will fix that.

If for some reason he refuses, you may want to get a second opinion on the crown. If it’s obviously mismatched to the surrounding teeth, that dentist could put pressure on him to refund your money. Dentists care about what their peers think of their work.

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Are CEREC Crowns Reliable?

I need to get my first crown. I’ve been doing some research and think I want to go the CEREC route. However, I need to be sure they’re reliable. I work in a field where my smile is important. I have a few friends that have crowns and they all have had problems with them falling out at one time or another. Most of them said it was the temps that fall, which is why I’m thinking a CEREC. However, one of my friends even has his regular crowns fall out. Plus, they don’t look that great. I do wonder if this has more to do with his dentist. He doesn’t have much money, so I’m not sure he’s going to the best dentist.

Ben H. – Ft. Worth, TX

Ben,

You’ve brought up a few important concepts. First, is bonding. The biggest factor in a crowns ability to say is it being designed to fit properly.  A well-designed dental crown will stay in without any bonding agent.  Of course, that wouldn’t hold if you were eating something sticky which could pull down from an unbonded tooth. However, once it’s bonded you should be able to eat what you want.

Yes, temporary crowns do have a tendency to fall out. That’s because they’re designed to be removed easily to make way for the permanent crown.

CEREC crowns are bonded in immediately, so you’ll not have to deal with a temporary crown. They’re also milled by a computer, which does sometimes increase the accuracy. Though, a traditional crown can be equally well made.

Your comment about your friend’s experience and a less expensive dentist is interesting. People sometimes mistake cheap dentistry for affordable dentistry. You can have an affordable dentist who still uses quality materials, but works to keep his prices lower in other ways. Or, maybe he or she has interest free payment plans. A cheap dentist, on the other hand, will advertise their low prices to draw people in, but uses cheaper materials to keep his profit margin up. Or, it could just be a matter of him not being a very skilled dentist.

As to the appearance of the crown, that also depends on the skill of the dentist. Some dentists are more artistic than others. I’d recommend asking to see before and after pictures of their work to get an idea what type of results they can deliver.

Also, because you mentioned appearance being important to your job, if you’re going to get your teeth whitened, do it before getting the crown made. You won’t be able to change the color of the crown once it’s done. So make sure your teeth are the color you want.

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CEREC Crowns and Teeth Grinding

My husband says I’m just finding excuses because I’m afraid of the dentist, but I think it’s a legitimate concern. I’m scheduled to get a CEREC crown next week. But, the more I think about it, I think it won’t hold up with nighttime grinding the way my normal teeth do. Am I right?

Cecelia M. – North Dakota

Cecelia,

In a way, you’re both right. CEREC crowns will not hold up to nighttime grinding, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t get it. Here’s why. First, you need a crown. Leaving your tooth untreated will cause you serious problems in a very short timespan.

Second, your natural teeth will not bear up under the grinding either. In fact, your grinding is likely what led to you needing a crown to begin with.

Get the CEREC crown, then get fitted for a nightguard to protect all your teeth–real and replacement.

However, all that being said, your dental anxiety can be dealt with too. You don’t have to put yourself through the anxiety. Ask your dentist about sedation dentistry. It can give you a worry-free and pain-free appointment. Likely, it will change your view of going to the dentist forever.

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Will CEREC Crowns Blend with My Natural Teeth

I’ve been hearing a lot about CEREC crowns and I really want to take the plunge and get my dental work done. I’m more drawn to the simplicity of it all- go in and get it done and then just be done with it all. There’s no waiting with a temporary forever. My thing is, I really don’t care for vanity treatments. I think movie star smiles look ridiculous. Their teeth are too perfect- too white, too straight. That’s not the kind of smile I want. I have some slightly crooked teeth and they’ve darkened over the years, but that doesn’t bother me at all. It looks natural and that is beautiful to me. So, if I go in and see someone who does CEREC crowns, can the dentist make it look like my teeth are now, so it blends with my natural teeth? If not, I’ll probably just go the traditional route, as the dentist I usually see works with a lab who does nice shading. I just hate to wait.

Thanks,

Melvin

Dear Melvin,

CEREC crowns come in all kinds of colors and can be shaded to match your teeth, so they blend perfectly and naturally into your smile.

With that said, not every doctor puts in the effort to make sure that the artistry is there. If you choose to go this route, be sure to ask to see photos of the doctor’s CEREC crowns, so you can gauge the results you can expect.

This may not be of huge importance for a tooth in the back, but front teeth are very hard to get right, especially if your teeth have multiple shades. Sometimes even labs have trouble pulling that off. Your best bet is to find out who performs the service in your area and review his smile gallery or before and after photos. If you see quality work, and you’re certain those are photos of CEREC crowns, you can probably go ahead with confidence. However, if you’re dealing with a front tooth and the dentist does not have photos of anterior in-office restorations, you may want to stick with the process you know will produce the results you want. It really comes down to how skilled of an artist the dentist is and how much time he invests in each restoration. Best of luck to you.

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Should I Switch Dentists to Get A CEREC Crown?

I need to get a crown. My best friend swears by CEREC crowns, but my dentist said he prefers to use his lab. Are they worth switching dentists to get them?

Morgan H. – Mississippi

Morgan,

A lot of really good cosmetic dentists have lab preferences. That’s because they have a close working relationship with them and they know the quality of work they do.

How good a crown is depends more on the skill of the dentist and lab than the brand.

The biggest benefit to CEREC crowns is the same day service. But, if you’re getting it on a front tooth, you may prefer a beautiful crown over a quick crown.

The decision is yours, of course, but if you’re happy with your current dentist, I wouldn’t necessarily think it is worth switching dentists over. On the other hand, if you aren’t too happy with your dentist, it might be a way for you to get a fast crown and check out a new dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.

Gums Not Healing After CEREC Crown

I’m not sure what to do. I had a CEREC crown done about two months ago. The hygienist warned me my gums would be tender for a couple of weeks. She recommended salt water rinses and ibuprofen.  It’s been much longer than that and my gums aren’t healing. Should I go back?

Elisabeth D. – Mississippi

Elisabeth,

Your gums should have healed from your CEREC crowns by now. If you’re in pain, it’s a sign there is an infection and you should definitely go back and have an x-ray done.

If you’re not in pain, I would see if the problem is getting between your crown during flossing. Sometimes it’s a little harder to do our dental hygiene and that can cause tenderness.

Try getting one of those flossers that have a handle. It will make it easier to get down in there and really clean it out.  If you do that for another week and it is still not healing to your satisfaction, then I would go back even if you’re not in pain.

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Referral To Dentist For CEREC Crowns On Front Teeth

I’d like to get a referral to a dentist to get CEREC crowns on my front teeth. I really like the idea of having them done in one day so I don’t have to walk around for weeks with those unnatural-looking temporaries on. They always fall off and I have such trouble with them. The last thing I want to do is go through all that with my front teeth. My dentist normally does CEREC crowns- that’s how I know about them, but he said he won’t do it that way with my front teeth. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s because he charges more for the other kind. I’m thinking about going somewhere else, just so I can get CEREC crowns done on these. Any recommendations?

Bill – Portland

Dear Bill,

CEREC crowns have their limitations. They are fabulous for saving time and limiting how many visits you need, but they’re not always the best choice for aesthetics. If the dentist you already see does CEREC crowns, then it sounds like he’s a fan of them, but also recognizes when they might not be the best choice.

It takes a lot of work to make a restoration look natural. If you think about it, your tooth is made up of layers, and there’s a perfect mix of colors blending, as well as opacity. With traditional lab-made restorations, they try to mimic it by adding layers of porcelain, shading the restoration, and glazing it. CEREC crowns are a single block of material that is trimmed down to match the shape of the tooth. Although it can blend in pretty well in the back of the mouth, it’s very difficult to make them look natural in anterior teeth.

If you want your teeth to look beautiful and natural in the long run, it’s probably best to heed your dentist’s advice and go with the standard lab-made ones. Yes, you’ll have to wear the temporaries, but this is just for a couple of weeks, compared to the possibility of being stuck with front teeth you don’t like for a decade or more. If time is a huge concern for you, mention it to your dentist. Sometimes the lab can “rush” cases or prioritize yours so it gets processed quicker. There’s usually an extra fee for this, but you may find it worthwhile if you’re eager to have your new smile quicker.

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An “Unusual” Question About CEREC Crowns

I’m a big believer in the “Their are no stupid questions” philosophy.  Though, if you’ve ever read Yahoo Answers, you’ve likely realized sometimes you have to be very charitable to keep that philosophy.  One of my favorites was someone asking how Lindsey Lohan was cloned for the Parent Trap.  Well, I’ve recently had a question in that ilk.  I received a question wondering why their dentist’s printer will print out cerec crowns, but when they try to print out a CEREC crown on their printer they only get a picture of one.

Now, maybe this is a joke. But, just in case it isn’t I will answer the question.

Your dentist doesn’t print out a CEREC crown on a printer. Instead that use a very sophisticated piece of machinary (The CAD/CAM System) that can cost up to $80,000. This machine mills your crown out of a block of porcelain.

Your printer simply reproduces pixels of color on a sheet of paper. There’s no way to get a crown out of that. Even if you had a 3D printer, which is capable of printing actual objects and not just pictures, it would print in plastic, not porcelain.

Your best bet is to continue going to your dentist for your dental crown needs.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Matt Roper.