I had a CEREC crown done about two years ago, and it attracts stain like crazy. I drink coffee, but not really excessively or anything, and I brush all the time. Despite my efforts, the tooth looks dingy within a few weeks every time I get a cleaning. I always looks nice when I leave, but it never lasts long. I asked my hygienist about it, and she said I’m not cleaning well enough at home. I am scrubbing as best as I can. I really think it’s got something to do with the fact that it’s a CEREC crown. It’s just that one tooth that becomes an eyesore. None of my other friends have this problem, but I’m also the only one who got a CEREC crown instead of a real one. Do I have to have the whole thing replaced? What are my options?
Ellen in New Hampshire
Crowns, in general, can be made out of many materials, and CEREC crowns are no exception. Regardless of whether you have the kind that is created in the office or in a lab, it’s possible to attract stains like you’re getting. Home care is certainly a factor, and your hygienist was right to mention it. It’s not necessarily a matter of scrubbing hard either, as that can hurt your gums, as well as the neighboring teeth. You might have better luck switching to an ultrasonic toothbrush, or at least upgrading to one with a spinning mechanism.
It sounds like your restoration has microscratches on it. Although the material, itself, is incredibly durable, some things are known to cause very small scratches on the surface. When this happens, your coffee, food, and bacteria can gather in the tiny crevices, which makes it very difficult to clean. Sometimes, patients unknowingly cause the scratches by using abrasive toothpastes, like those designed for whitening. Other times, they can be caused by an inexperienced hygienist, who uses a prophy jet incorrectly, or uses an abrasive prophy paste to polish at the end of a cleaning.
It’s not likely that you’ll ever know for sure what caused the defects, but it’s worth mentioning the issue directly to your dentist. If one of his hygienists isn’t familiar with proper protocol, he’ll get to the bottom of it and can make sure other patients don’t have the same issue. If it is indeed scratched, there isn’t a way to repair it. Your dentist may be able to buff it out some, but it won’t look like it did when it was new. Aside from that, your options are to live with it, and change your cleaning routines, or to replace it.