Category Archives: CEREC

Are CEREC Veneers Risky?

I plan on getting CEREC veneers, but I have not exactly used this dentist before. He told me that he generally makes porcelain veneers 1.55 mm. I have done some research and that seems a little thick to me. Should I reconsider? I understand that the dentist who does the veneers could affect the outcome so I’ll tell you ahead of time, his name is [ name withheld ].

Patricia,

Dear Patricia,

porcelain veneer being placed on a tooth

I am very glad you wrote. Instead of saying “the dentist could affect the outcome”, I would say the dentist determines the outcome. He or she would be the key to the outcome of your smile makeover.

Doing CEREC veneers is much harder than doing traditional porcelain veneers using a master ceramist. In that case, the skill and training of the dentist becomes even more important. I looked up the dentist you mentioned to me. I started by looking at his website and I saw nothing that indicated any cosmetic training. That was a red flag. But, I went ahead and did some extra work and looked up the institutions that do the type of training he would need. He is listed on none of their alumni lists. Because of that, I am going to recommend you go a different direction.

If you are set on CEREC veneers then I suggest you go to a practice that has an AACD accredited dentist on their staff. Nothing less than that would give you the outcome that I believe you want.

Let’s say you go to a dentist to get a smile makeover and he or she does a terrible job. You will have no recourse. The standard of care is that it the results of the procedure are functional, not attractive. This is not what you are going for when you want a smile makeover. Therefore, you as a patient, as to be proactive and find the dentist who will not only care that you have a beautiful smile, but has the training and skills to provide them for you.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Forman and Thimmesch.

CEREC Crowns on Front Teeth

I had an accident that damaged my front teeth. I am in a hurry to get this fixed and asked my dentist to do CEREC Crowns, but he said he does not do them on front teeth. Should I see a different dentist who does or just spend extra time getting the old fashioned crowns?

Dave

Dear Dave,

Unless your dentist is one of the top cosmetic dentists in the country, I would go with the traditional crowns. CEREC crowns are milled from a single block of porcelain, which will look very uniform or flat. Our natural teeth are varied. They’ll be more opaque in some parts and more translucent in others.

Unless your dentist understands advanced staining and color theory, the teeth will end up looking fake. In this case, it is better to invest the extra time and do the traditional crowns.

A ceramist building crowns with the traditional method can use different blocks of porcelain in order to mimic that natural variation found in your teeth. This will allow the crowns to look perfectly natural.

One other tip. While dental crowns can be made to match any color, once that color is set, it is permanent. If you plan on whitening your teeth, the time to do it is before your dental crowns are completed. This way they can be made to match your new permanent color. If you are in a hurry, Zoom whitening can do it in just one appointment.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Problem with CEREC Crown

I went to my dentist because of pain with pressure and sensitivity to hot and cold. My dentist suggested a crown and we decided on a CEREC crown for the first time on a back tooth. I’d had other crowns before so I wasn’t new to the gig. I like how fast it went and having the crown that day. A few days later though, I still had the same problem. I went back to see the dentist and he checked to make sure it was on right. He felt it was and told me to give it eight weeks. That was discouraging because I was going on vacation, but what else could I do? I bought some pain meds and left town. I was in so much pain and practically lived on those pain meds. At about the eight-week mark, it did start to get better. That’s a lot of pain to go through with a crown. Normally, I have the pain go away with immediate relief. Is this a pattern with a CEREC crown?

Morgan

Dear Morgan,

Block of porcelain for a CEREC crown

I would like you to see a different dentist and have this looked at, including an x-ray. CEREC crowns are equally effective as traditional crowns. The biggest difference is the same-day service. When there is the type of pain you were having, just crowning the tooth will not necessarily solve the problem on its own. The fact that it was still hurting afterward bears this out in your case.

With it gradually getting better over that length of time, it sounds more to me like the pulp of your tooth was dying. I’d like to know if the original problem was some type of dental infection.

Usually, when there is a sensitive tooth that also needs a crown, the first thing to do is remove any old fillings or decay. Then place some glass isomer or bonded build-up material and give it a bit of time. This is to see if the tooth settles down. If it doesn’t and the pain persists, that is a signal the tooth needs a root canal treatment.

Have this looked at elsewhere so you don’t risk an infection flaring back up.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

CEREC Crown is Too Bulky

I had a dental crown break after three years. I needed to replace it but have been quite busy lately. Because of that, I went to a different dentist who advertised same day crowns using a CEREC machine. However, the tooth with the CEREC crown is way too bulky. It’s uncomfortable, doesn’t line up with my other teeth, and I find myself biting my tongue unintentionally because the crown is “in the way”. The dentist has tried filing it a couple of times, but it hasn’t really improved much. Where do I go from here?

Madeline

Dear Madeline,

porcelain block for CEREC crown
CEREC restoration

This must be so frustrating for you. Here you were trying to save time and it has ended up even more of a hassle. I have two concerns here, beginning with your original crown. It should not have broken after a few years. These are designed to protect the tooth underneath and keep them from breaking. As a result, they should last you many years. Your dentist should have recognized that and offered to replace it. Hopefully, it was a matter of flawed material, which can happen to the best of dentists, and not that he was incompetent in how he placed it.

As for the CEREC crown, it sounds to me like your dentist is new with this software. Usually, the dentist would take images of your tooth that needs to be crowned and the CEREC software would build-up an excellently fitted tooth from there. However, you didn’t have the original tooth because your need was to replace a damaged crown.

There are ways to build up a tooth from scratch that will fit perfectly using the software, but it seems to have been beyond the scope of your dentist’s knowledge.

This crown does need to be replaced. The issues you listed can lead to serous problems, including tumors on your gum where you keep biting it, gum disease from a crown iritating the area, and even TMJ Disorder from your bit getting thrown off.

Have your dentist replace this crown at his or her expense. However, I don’t think they are going to be able to get the results you want with her understanding of the software. I think you are going to have to go the “traditional” route and have this porcelain crown made in a dental laboratory.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

CEREC Crown Disaster

I’d been hearing how wonderful CEREC crowns were. You could get them done in one appointment and they’d fit perfectly, designed to your tooth. I have experienced something quite different.

First, she said my tooth was in such bad shape that she had to take a generic image off the database. Then, it didn’t fit . She spent three hours grinding down on the sides and top of the crown so much that the top of the crown is flat and shorter than the rest of the teeth. Additionally, the gums are super sore where the crown is. It’s been over a week.

Is this normal?

Katelyn

Dear Katelyn,

porcelain block for CEREC crown

No , this is not normal. I’m a bit thrown off by her saying she had to get a generic image from the database because your tooth was in bad shape. Of course it was in bad shape. That’s why you needed a crown.

The CEREC Crown software is designed to build up a tooth. Your dentist starts by telling it which tooth needs to be crowned. In turn, it builds up what that tooth should look like. Then, your dentist adds the information for the remainder of your bite and the software designs the perfect dimensions.

It sounds to me that one of two things is going on: either your dentist didn’t know what she was doing with the software or there is information she didn’t pass on about your case, such your gums bleeding so much she wasn’t able to get a clear image.

Either way, her decisions after that give me some doubts about her skill with dental crowns as a whole. I’m going to suggest you get a second opinion from another dentist. If it is as bad I think, it will need replacing. In that case, don’t ask for a refund. Instead, have your current dentist pay for the repairs. It will likely cost more to get it re-done than you were originally charged.

Tips for Getting a Second Opinion

When you go to get your second opinion, don’t tell them who the original dentist is. The dental world is a small one. Often dentists are friends with one another. He or she may have a bit of difficulty saying something negative about a friend’s work.

Instead, just tell him you want his opinion, without any previous information, as to what he thinks about the CEREC crown.

Thinking Ahead

Normally, your dentist would have already relayed the information I’m about to give you, but I don’t have the highest confidence in your dentist at the moment.

You didn’t say where they CEREC crown was being placed. If it is in a place that is visible when you smile, you will want to make sure your teeth are the color you want in the long term.

While the CEREC crown can be made any color you want, the color will be permanent. If you’re not completely happy with the color of your teeth, you may want to get your teeth whitened before the crown is made. This way you will be sure to have the color you want for the long term.

Otherwise, if you don’t and decide later to whiten, the crown will have to be replaced again in order to get it to match the new color.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentists Drs. Foreman and Thimmesch.

Is a CEREC Crown falling Off an Essential treatment?

I had a CEREC crown placed right before the lockdown for COVID-19.. Today, it just fell out. Our governor said you can only go to the dentist for essential treatment. How do I know if this is essential? Do I go in or wait until the quarantine is over?

Mark

Dear Mark,

porcelain block for CEREC crown
Block of porcelain for a CEREC crown

In most cases, because of COVID-19 and how easily it transmits, the CDC and Governors of many states are asking us to forego routine treatments until we have a handle on the virus. That would mostly include things like cleanings, checkups, and elective cosmetic procedures such as teeth whitening and smile makeovers.

Essential appointments are things like emergency dental care, such as you’d have with a tooth infection or other types of repairs. Your case is one of those. If a dental crown falls off, which by itself should be unusal, it is important it gets re-bonded.

If you wait until the quarantine is over, the adjacent teeth will begin to shift into the space left open. This will mean by the time you are able to contact the dentist for the re-bonding, your CEREC crown will no longer fit and you’ll have to get an entirely new one.

Don’t wait. Call your dentist.

One other thing, as I said earlier, it is highly unusual for a dental crown to fall out, especially a CEREC crown. They are milled by a computer so they are usually a tighter, more accurate fit. If your dentist rebonds this and it falls out again, I’d recommend you see a different dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

cerec crowns on front teeth

I was in a car accident and damaged both my front teeth. I need to get crowns on them. I am trying to decide between regular crowns and CEREC crowns. Is one better than the other?

Benjamin

Dear Benjamin,

porcelain block for CEREC crown

CEREC crowns are made out of single block of porcelain. This will give it a very uniform look. This works fine on most teeth. However, our front teeth are much more visible and exposed to light.

Natural teeth aren’t uniform. Look at this image of a tooth directly below. There are varying levels of translucency and opaqueness depending on where you are on the tooth.

image of a tooth

When a dentist does a traditional crown, it is built in layers with varying shades of porcelain. This can make a crown look more natural. However, even then, you’d need an expert cosmetic dentist because this takes a high level of skill.

If you really want a CEREC crown, then having an expert cosmetic dentist is even more important. They need to have a high level of skill in color theory so they can use various stains to give it that variated look while keeping that natural translucency.

Cosmetic Considerations with Dental Crowns

The dental crown can be made to match your teeth exactly. However, the color is permanent. If you are happy with the color of your teeth, then you do not need to take any further steps. However, if you want your teeth any whiter, the time to take care of that is before having the crowns designed.

In that case, your first step is to have your teeth whitened. You can do that in one appointment if you see a dentist who does Zoom Whitening.

Then, give it a couple of weeks for the color to calm down. That’s when your dentist can match the permanent color for you.

When you’re talking about front teeth, whether you get a traditional or CEREC crown, you will need a dentist capable of the skills required. I suggest you see an AACD accredited dentist.

This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

should I have gotten a cerec crown?

I had a crown placed which led to pretty severe gum inflammation. My dentist couldn’t figure out why so he sent me to a periodontist. She couldn’t figure out what the cause was either. Off I go to a prosthodontist. This doctor thinks it is because the dentist placed the crown too deep. He also said if I don’t have it treated I will develop gum disease. But, he said the surgery will likely lead to cosmetic damage to the gum area. I feel stuck. I don’t want gum disease, but I don’t want a cosmetic issue either. What do I do? Would this have happened if I’d gotten a CEREC crown instead?

Mary

Dear Mary,

CEREC Crown being placed on a tooth
Sometimes a dentist gets in over their head

It’s a shame this happened to you. I think your dentist should help cover this as his actions led to the problem. One thing that worries me is the prosthodontist acting like if you treat your gum disease, you’ll end up a cosmetic freak.

The truth is, whatever damage was done to your gums cosmetically speaking, is already done. Now your choices are repair this to help you prevent gum disease or leave it and end up with gum disease. It’s pretty much a no-brainer, but they didn’t put it to you that way..

Maybe they said it that way so you wouldn’t think they botched something after the procedure.

In the meantime, I’m going to suggest you rinse with an antibacterial rinse, like Peridex. This will help you with the gum inflammation.

CEREC Crowns Versus Traditional

You asked if this would have happened if you’d had a CEREC crown instead of a traditional crown. In reality, while CEREC crowns are milled by computer, which does make the fit as accurate as possible, the placement of the crown is still done by the dentist. If he placed a traditional crown improperly, he’d likely do the same with a CEREC.

The only other advantage to getting a CEREC crown would be having it done in one appointment instead of needing a temporary crown and two appointments. The dentist really matters more than the type of crown.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

can I fix the color of my cerec crowns?

I had a CEREC crown done on one of my canine teeth about three weeks ago. We never really discussed the shade while I was in the office, but as soon as I got home, I realized that it was a bit lighter than the rest of my teeth. Well, once I saw it, I couldn’t un-see it, and now every time I look at myself, all I see is that darn tooth. It looks fake.

I didn’t want to bother my dentist with this at first, so I started playing around with at-home whitening products to try to get the rest of my teeth to match, but I’m just not getting them as bright as that CEREC crown. This probably sounds crazy, but I’m starting to wonder if he can darken it just a bit, so it’s a better match. Is that even possible?

Thanks,

Stan

Dear Stan,

CEREC crown restorations and materials

There are a couple of things about your case that give away that your dentist isn’t really what I would call a cosmetic dentist. Every dentist who is serious about cosmetic dentistry, when they place a crown on a front tooth, will make sure you get a good look at it before it is permanently bonded on. He didn’t do that.

The other problem is that it is a CEREC crown. The CEREC material is a block of material that is a set shade. Unless the dentist is an advanced cosmetic dentist, he won’t know how to use color theory and stains to match a front tooth.

To match a front tooth, a true cosmetic dentist has the ability to customize the shade. Each tooth in your mouth has differences in color from the neck of the tooth to the tip, and it is quite a process to mix different materials to get a crown to match the surrounding teeth.

Tints and Stains Exist

There are tints and stains that can be applied to the CEREC to customize the shade. But on a ceramic, that has to be baked into the crown, so that has to be done before the crown is put in your mouth, obviously.

Sounds Like You Will Have to Have Your CEREC Crown Replaced

You deserve to be happy with your smile and he biffed the color. Hopefully, your dentist will agree to re-doing the crown. However, this time, make sure you get to look at it BEFORE they cement it. Check it out under various lighting conditions—seriously. Look at it in the chair. Get up and go into the bathroom and check it there. Venture to an outside window and view it in natural sunlight. If it isn’t right, don’t let them cement it.

Request a Lab-Made Restoration if All Else Fails

There are crowns that have a core that is made like a CEREC crown and then have porcelain baked over the top. If you want a natural-looking crown on a front tooth, this is the way to go. Although you’ll have to wait two weeks for the lab to make it, the lab technician will be able to tint the crown to match your existing teeth. But the dentist also needs to have a good eye for color and the ability to describe the color variations in your tooth, and your dentist doesn’t sound like he is that much into that. For the best results, you’d really want to switch to someone who specializes in cosmetic dentistry for these sorts of things, but you’ve already started with him, so as long as you’re keen to continue, give him the chance to fix his work too.

If he can’t, look for a dentist who has been accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry. AACD accredited dentists are the top cosmetic dentists in the country.

This blog is sponsored by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.

Cerec crown is too big

I had a dental crown that was about five years old. It broke and I needed to replace it. I decided to get a CEREC crown to speed up the procedure and get a crown as quickly as possible. I’ve had crowns before. But, this one has been a problem. It feels huge in my mouth. So big that it was hurting and causing problems with my speech and gums. It’s also causing me to bite my tongue at night in my sleep. I went back to my dentist and she tried filing it down but I’m still having problems. I though the CEREC crown would fit better.

Kathy

Dear Kathy,

Block of porcelain for CEREC crowns

It seems to me as if you’ve had two dud dentists recently. Dental crowns shouldn’t break. Normally, with a CEREC crown, a tooth is scanned before it is prepared for the crown. Then they use the shape of the tooth in the software to design the crown.

Without that, the dentist can use the software to form the crown, but it sounds like your dentist doesn’t know how to do that yet. I wouldn’t ask her to fix it with her CEREC machine.

Instead, I would ask her to give you a traditional crown which is done at a lab. It will take a little longer, but you need a well-fitted crown. CEREC is capable of doing that. In fact, the software can design a precise crown. Your problem is the dentist.

Do not settle for a crown where you are biting any part of your mouth. This can lead to tumors. A crown should not be noticeable at all.

Turning this Into a Benefit

If you’re going to have to have the crown re-done, I would look at it as an opportunity to improve your smile. This isn’t at all necessary but could be something beneficial.

One of the first things people notice about us is our smile. A great and inexpensive way to make your smile look years younger is with teeth whitening.

Now I don’t know where this crown is, but if it is at all in a visible part of your smile you should consider whitening your teeth before having the permanent crown made so it can be made to match.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.