Category Archives: CEREC crowns

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.

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

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.

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

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


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.

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

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


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.

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

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.



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.

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

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


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


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.

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

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.

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

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.

Intereting Yahoo question on CEREC crowns.

I recently came across a question about CEREC crowns on yahoo that I thought was interesting.

I recently had a Cerec crown put in. I was told how great this was and that they go in take a picture that make a 3d image of the tooth and they send it to the mill that makes it. My understanding was that it was supposed to make this perfect fitting crown.
Well I ended up in the dental chair for about 3 hours. She said she had to pic a generic image from the database because my tooth was so damaged or in bad shape. This seemed odd to me and didn’t make since due to what I was told before. The crown did not fit when it was created. I noticed a lot of red area on the sides on the screen and she was doing a lot of hand manipulation to the 3d model. The crown didn’t filt. She had to hand grind the sides and a lot off the top. It seemed like it really sat up very high. As if it was made way to high. She had to do a lot of grinding to it so it felt natural. It seems like it’s a alittle lower then the surrounding teeth and doesn’t seem to have that natural tooth look. Almost looks a little too smooth. It is also a little wider on the outside at the base then the rest of my teeth. I would have assumed it would been pretty even. Also it seems a little sensitive. I don’t know if that’s normal for a period of time or not. Its been almost a week. It just don’t feel strong. I wonder if it is not seated in properly.
Now when I went to the Cerec site. It seemed as if it was supposed to be a nearl perfect fit. Would pnly take a fraction of the time. And only minor modification if any. I also sen the image of how it looks when they take the image. My tooth looked identical to this, so Im a little concerned why she is saying it was because the tooth was in bad shape as to why they couldn’t fit it right or get a proper model of it. It looks from the site that they could make a copy of the top tooth to know how it would fit. My understanding was this was what they did. But they only took a image of the prepared tooth which again looked like the images in their flash presentation. Did she do something wrong and is trying to cover it up? What about the sensitivity and such?

Here are my thoughts….

This patient definitely needs to see another dentist to have it checked.  A lot can go wrong with a dental crown and I’m afraid this one has some serious problems.  If indeed the crown needs to be replaced, then he dentist the caused the problem in the first place, should pay for the replacement and any other repairs that need to be attended to.

There is something that puzzles me.  This patient said that their dentist had to take a generic image from the database because their tooth was in “such bad shape”.

The CEREC crown system is made to deal with teeth that are in bad shape. Teeth that are in good shape don’t need crowns. The software asks the dentist to input which tooth is being crowned. It in turn gives the dentist a starting point for designing the crown, showing him or her what the tooth is supposed to.  The dentist is also given the images of the surrounding teeth and  opposing teeth. This gives the dentist all the information needed to fit the crown perfectly. Clearly, this dentist didn’t know what they were doing.

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