I’m more than a little frustrated with the CEREC crowns my dentist has been making me. It’s the first time I got this type and I can’t help but wonder if it’s an inferior product or if the dentist simply lacks skill. I initially had an old filling on my lower right molar. The tooth ended up cracking and the dentist said the only way to go was with a crown. That was about a year ago now. About four months later, the one he placed broke. I chalked it up to a fluke thing, but just last week, the second one broke too, and yes, he wants to replace it with a THIRD CEREC crown. Granted, he isn’t charging me for it, but it seems to me that one time could be a fluke. A second time, however, is a sign there’s a problem. Would I be out of line to tell him to go old school on this one and provide me with a regular one?
You’re right. A single failure could happen to anyone and may or may not signal something’s amiss, but repeat issues suggest there’s something more at play here. You mentioned that your tooth broke, thus necessitating the need for the repair in the first place. While large old amalgam fillings can sometimes be problematic and allow bacteria inside, thus leading to decay and often breakage, you didn’t mention there being decay. Any chance you’re a grinder?
While CEREC crowns are incredibly durable, often comparable to their lab-made counterparts, they’re not always the best choice for people who gnash their teeth. Some people do this during the daytime as a response to stress, while others do it at night while they sleep. If you’ve ever woken up with a sore jaw, there’s a chance you fit into the latter group. You may want a metal-based crown for the durability, though wearing a night guard may provide adequate protection regardless. In fact, if you are a grinder, you should be wearing a night guard anyway because grinding will damage your natural teeth and cause issues with your jaw and bite too- not just the restorations.
There are a couple of worries here. First, if you are a grinder, your dentist should have picked up on it and talked to you about it, especially in light of recent events. Secondly, he now has two failures under his belt and he wants to try the exact same thing while hoping for different results. It’s time to see a new dentist for a second opinion. Regardless of whether you are grinding or not, something is going wrong with these restorations and your dentist should probably be discussing alternatives with you by now. If you haven’t actually been in to see him since this one broke, it’s ok to go in and hear what his proposed solution is, but the third time probably won’t be a charm if he’s using the same process, so request a new method or get a second opinion.
This blog is sponsored by Dr. Steve Sirin. Although Dr. Sirin is not an Elgin CEREC crowns provider, he does utilize E-4D, which he believes provides superior results with the same one-visit convenience.