I’m considering getting a CEREC crown. Are they as good as their traditional counterparts?
In one corner we have traditional porcelain crowns. Tried. True. Proven. Strong. Beautiful (with the right dentist). Though, they do take a couple of appointments. They’re milled from more than one block of porcelain.
In the other corner are the CEREC crowns. Tried. True. Proven. Strong. Beautiful (with the right dentist). Made in one appointment. Though, they’re milled from one solid block of porcelain.
Each time I type “Though”, I’m showing the downside of that particular type of crown. While two appointments aren’t horrible, it is definitely more convenient to have it done in one. You miss less work. You use less time. You have your permanent crown from the beginning. So, it would seem that the CEREC crown would be the better bargain. After all, the other features seem to be the same.
So, what’s the big deal about the “Though” for CEREC crowns? Why does it matter if you mill a crown from one block of porcelain or more than one block?
The difference comes from a cosmetic standpoint. Your teeth aren’t of identical translucency from top to bottom. The edges, especially at the bottom, are less opaque than the rest of the tooth. It seems to “thin out” a bit as you move down. There’s also a whiter color in the center than you’d find as you move down.
When you mill from a single block of porcelain, the crown will seem the same from top to bottom. They can look a little flatter because there aren’t those subtle varieties.
When a dentist can draw from more than one block and craft them together, you get the subtleties that reflect light a smidge better in natural teeth.
When to NOT Get CEREC Crowns
In most cases, CEREC crowns are fantastic. They’ll still look beautiful. They’ll still match your teeth. They’ll still hold up to the stresses of daily use. The one exception is on a very front tooth. If you’re getting a crown on one of your very visible front teeth, that’s when I would opt for a traditional crown. This will allow the dentist to use his artistry and make sure every subtle variety of light and color comes through.
Other than in that case, you will get a gorgeous crown with CEREC AND save yourself an additional appointment.
One word of caution. No matter which you decide on, once the crown is completed and bonded on, the color cannot be changed. If you’re going to get your teeth whitened, do it before getting your crown designed.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Mike Malone