I need to have my first ever crown done and my dentist has me scheduled to have a CEREC crown done in two weeks. Obviously, I’m a little anxious about the procedure, but I also grind my teeth at night. Is this going to be an issue with the CEREC crown or will it hold up as well as my regular teeth?
Jill in California
CEREC crowns are very durable. In fact, you might not even notice any difference between the strength of your restoration and your natural teeth. However, there’s a larger issue at play here.
The fact that you grind your teeth is concerning. If you’re continually putting that kind of pressure on them, you’re not only wearing down the enamel, but also setting yourself up for jaw pain and other issues. You didn’t say whether your CEREC crown was needed due to decay or a broken tooth, but it wouldn’t be surprising at all to hear it was a result of damage caused by grinding. Once you wear down the enamel through grinding, it’s gone for good. This leaves your tooth weak and more susceptible to cracks, breaks and decay.
The good news is that you’re aware of what you’re doing and that there’s an easy fix. Call your dentist before the procedure and let him know you grind your teeth at night. He will probably recommend a night guard to shield you from additional wear and damage. A night guard is a simple plastic device that you pop in before bed and it provides a cushion of protection so you don’t wind up with more issues caused by your grinding. Your dentist may even be able to take the impressions for your night guard on the same day you have your new restoration done if you let him know what’s happening ahead of time.
So, yes, your new restoration will hold up well to normal daily stresses, however, neither your natural teeth, nor a CEREC same-day crown can withstand the pressures of grinding forever. Get the night guard, ask your dentist if he has any additional techniques to reduce grinding, and all of your teeth, natural or restored, will be well on their way to having the longest lifespan possible.