Category Archives: CEREC crowns

What are CEREC crowns and are they best?

I haven’t visited the dentist like I should over the past ten years. Because I had a toothache,  I finally went. I knew my teeth weren’t in the best shape and the dentist told me I would need a tooth fixed with a root canal, along with some other cavities filled.  I don’t know if I was just overwhelmed by all the dentist was suggesting I needed done, but I swear he started talking another language. He started talking about getting a serk crown. I have looked on the internet and can’t find anything. Can you please translate? What is it and is it the best thing for a mouth like mine?

JB in Wyoming

Dear JB,

We are assuming, based on the work you need done, that your dentist was recommending getting a CEREC crown. There certainly are words that are dentist lingo and do require some translation and CEREC crowns fit that category as they are a newer treatment option.

What are CEREC crowns?

CEREC machineCerec crowns are porcelain crowns that a dentist can create in the office the same day as your visit for the root canal. The dentist uses computer technology and his expertise to make them. The dentist matches the shade of your teeth to the color of porcelain. Using the computer images of your tooth, a special machine cuts the porcelain to fit your tooth. It is bonded on once the root canal is finished.

As to whether it is best for your mouth, again we are just going by your brief history, but CEREC crowns created by dentists who know what they are doing can be very successful. If they are bonded well and you don’t grind your teeth, they will last as well as other crowns. The only time CEREC crowns aren’t usually preferred is when you need a crown on a front tooth. This is for esthetic reasons. They may not look as natural as other crowns created in a lab for the front teeth.

Since you have questions, it wouldn’t hurt to ask the dental office to see pictures of others who have had CEREC crowns placed or about the dentist’s experience.

This post is sponsored by Vista Dorada Dental in Gilbert, AZ.

 

Are CEREC Crowns as Reliable as Regular Crowns?

At my last check-up, my dentist said I need three crowns. I wasn’t too surprised I needed them, but he’s pretty insistent I get CEREC crowns. My insurance doesn’t cover those and they’re more expensive. I’m not sure I want to invest in something more expensive just because it’s the newest thing unless I know it’s as reliable as the regular crowns. Do you have an opinion on this?

Louis A.

Dear Louis,

A CEREC Machine
When Should You Get a CEREC Crown?

A lot of whether or not a dental crown is reliable depends more on the dentist than anything else. Some dentists get better results than others. However, there are times when a CEREC crown is better than a traditional one. There are times it’s the other way around as well.

Because they’re computer milled, CEREC crowns often fit better. They do well in front and side teeth, but aren’t always strong enough for back teeth. For those, you may prefer a zirconia crown or a porcelain fused to metal crown.

Their biggest benefit is you can have your three crowns done in one visit, without a temporary crown. Other than that, everything else truly depends on the skill of your dentist.

If you decide you want a CEREC crown, your dentist can bill the insurance for the regular crown and you just pay the difference, which isn’t too substantial.

Some Considerations with CEREC Crowns

Placement is the biggest issue. If it’s going to be visible and you’ve ever wanted to whiten your teeth do the teeth whitening before you have the crown milled. If it’s a visible side tooth, that should be sufficient for an attractive looking smile.

However, if it’s a front tooth, you’ll want a traditional crown. CEREC crowns are milled out of a single block of porcelain which, though beautiful does not have all the subtleties necessary for a front tooth. You’ll want something sculpted from various blocks so that the right level of translucency comes across at the appropriate parts of the tooth. Otherwise, it can look a little flat compared to the tooth next to it. You’ll know it’s a little different without knowing why. It will still be attractive, just not as attractive as it could have been.

Again, each dentist’s skills vary in this area, so ask to see sample before and after pictures of their work.

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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