I’m having a hard time deciding between CEREC crowns and regular crowns. What are some important things to know? I have to make a decision in the next couple of days for a tooth which needs to be crowned.
It’s a shame your dentist didn’t go over this with you, but I am certainly happy to help. One of the jobs of a dentist is to educate their patients on the pros and cons of all their options. Don’t allow your dentist to skip out on that part of his job. It’s important for you and can save you heartache and money down the road.
You Shouldn’t Expect to Pay More (or less) for a CEREC Crown
Many patients assume because they only have to come in once, instead of for multiple visits, they should pay less than they would for a traditional crown.
That’s not exactly how it works out and for a good reason. The CEREC machine, while it does avoid multiple appointments and a temporary crown, is a very expensive piece of equipment. The machine itself costs around $100,000. Plus, there’s all the materials necessary for it to work properly. It’s a huge investment.
While you shouldn’t expect to pay less, you also should not be charged more. Yes, the dentist needs to make their money back on the machine, but they’re also saving money on lab fees. The machine itself mills the crown, saving the dentist from having to pay a lab to mill the crown according to his or her directions. That means the cost should be about the same whether you get CEREC crowns or traditional dental crowns.
Whitening Before CEREC Crowns
Once the crowns are created, the color is permanent. If you are currently content with the color of your teeth, then nothing needs to be done. However, if you are considering whitening your teeth, you’ll want to take care of that before getting your CEREC crown done.
It will save you money in the long run. This allows your crowns to be made the same shade as your teeth after the whitening is done and protects you from having to replace the crown after your teeth change color.
CEREC Crowns and Front Teeth
One thing you’ll have to be careful about is which teeth you use CEREC crowns on. As you can see from the image at the top of this post, these crowns are milled from a single block of porcelain.
These don’t look as natural on anterior (front) teeth, unless you go to an expert cosmetic dentist. Most dentists will just leave the crown as milled and feel if they’ve matched the color they’ve done enough.
However, our teeth aren’t one color. Parts of our teeth are more translucent than others. You need a dentist with the knowledge and skill to adjust the colors to look natural instead of flat, especially on front teeth.
Your best bet is to find an AACD accredited dentist. These have the knowledge to do what is necessary to make them look beautiful and natural on front teeth.
This blog is brought to you by Hilton Head Dentist Dr. Bonnie Rothwell.