CEREC Crown Hurts

I had a CEREC crown done on a tooth. This isn’t my first crown, but it is my first CEREC crown. For some reason, this one hurts when I bite down. Is that something peculiar to this type of crown? I’ve never had that happen before?

Jeff

Dear Jeff,

Man in pain, grabbing his cheek in need of emergency dental care.

I truly do not believe the pain you are experiencing is because it is a CEREC crown. Most of the time, CEREC crowns fit better because they are precisely milled by a computer. So, what COULD be causing your pain?

The first reason could be that the bite is too high. If it isn’t seated in the correct place, then when you bite down all your biting force is going to that one spot instead of being spread across all your teeth. This can cause some substantial pain. If this is the case, your dentist can adjust the crown and you should have no further problems.

You didn’t mention if you’d already been back to your dentist and this has been done. If the crown has been adjusted and you are still experiencing pain, the next step would be to check for a lingering infection. If you had this crown placed after a root canal treatment, there can be a canal that was missed. Though our teeth only have a limited number of canals, many times they have branches that shoot off into other parts of the tooth. A dentist can do everything right and still not be able to get everything the first go-round. In that case, a re-treatment can be tried. If you do need a re-treatment, I generally recommend you see a root canal specialist to increase your chances of success the second time around.

Even if you didn’t have a root canal treatment, there could still have been an infection there. Sometimes, the infections are small and hard to read, but get easier as the infection grows. A simple diagnostic x-ray should help determine if this is the cause of your pain.

I would start with these two avenues of inquiry as they are the most common.

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Discouraged About My Teeth

I stumbled across your website and am hoping you can help me. I’ve never been so discouraged in my life. I grew up in a very poor family and we could not afford the dentist. They were good parents who worked hard, but dentistry is expensive. I have always had bucked teeth and braces were a wild dream. I spent most of my childhood being teased. Then in high school, I developed a tooth infection. I had a root canal treatment done, but we could not afford the follow-up treatment so I was left with a hole in the back of my tooth. Then, my first year in college the tooth broke in half. It was a front tooth! I was a freshman in college with no resources. One of my professors noticed I always put my hand over my mouth when I was talking and offered to get me a dental crown. I literally cried. Fast forward seven years. I’m married and we have dental insurance. The problem I am facing is my teeth need so much work I just can’t seem to keep up. My dentist seems to have given up as well. He even suggested we just extract them and get dentures. I’m barely 26 years old! Is there any way to save my teeth?

Carol

Dear Carol,

Woman covering her mouth with her hand

You have had a rough go of things and I am sorry. I did love the story about your caring professor. The compassionate people in this world give us hope, don’t they? While you have a tough situation with your teeth. It doesn’t sound like you have anything unfixable. The first thing I would do is look for a dentist who is willing to work to save your teeth. It sounds like they one you are currently with may not be the best fit for you.

Whatever you do, don’t let him extract all your teeth and give you dentures. When teeth are removed, your body begins to resorb all the minerals in your jawbone, the result of that is the shrinking of your jaw. In about twenty years, you won’t even have enough bone left in your jaw to retain your dentures. There is a way to preserve that bone, using dental implants, but it is very expensive and I don’t think you truly need your teeth extracted.

There are two things you can do to get a handle on this quicker. The first is at home. Most people think brushing is what keeps their teeth healthy. While it is a major contributor, if you are someone who snacks throughout the day, you are inadvertently sabotaging your efforts. Your saliva is a tremendous weapon against oral bacteria because of the minerals contained in it. If you limit your snacking, then you will give those minerals their best chance of fighting decay.

The second thing is to get as much work done as possible at each visit to try to get ahead of this situation. As I am recommending you find a new dentist anyway, look for one who offers dental sedation, specifically something like oral conscious sedation. This will completely relax you and even allow you to sleep if need be. Patients who use this are able to get significantly more work done at each visit.

Before you know it, you’ll be caught up on that dental work.
Hopefully, this helped.
This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.