My dentist told me I need to get a crown done. A friend of mine said her CEREC crown is the best thing since sliced bread and suggested I ask my dentist to make me one of those. He didn’t say it was an option though. What’s the difference between a CEREC crown and whatever type is normally done? Is it worth going to a new dentist if mine won’t offer it as an option?
Jamie in New Mexico
CEREC crowns can be a great option in some cases, but a lot of that is dependent on the tooth that needs treatment, as well as the preferences and skills of the cosmetic dentist providing it.
Historically, porcelain crowns have been made in a dental lab by a master ceramist. This is someone the dentist works with closely and has experience making sure it will fit just right while looking natural and beautiful. CEREC crowns are made in your dentist’s office by a machine. In fact, there are several companies who make these machines and each operates a bit differently and produces slightly different results.
Your dentist may use another type of machine, he may only do CEREC crowns (in which case he may not have mentioned it by name if it’s all he does), he might prefer to use a master ceramist for various reasons, or perhaps an in-office crown isn’t a good fit for this particular tooth this time around.
The best feature of CEREC crowns is the turn-around time. These are same-day crowns which means they allow you to have your restoration made in a day versus waiting about two weeks for the ceramist to complete it by hand. Some dentists think the quality of the restoration suffers because of this and some believe the quality does not suffer, provided the dentist is skilled and knowledgeable.
The best thing you can do is have a discussion with your dentist and see if a CEREC crown is an option for you.