Two weeks ago, I had a CEREC crown done. I was recently eating, when I felt something come loose in my mouth. I came to find out this crown had broken in half. The dentist offered to fix the crown free of charge. While I was thankful for this, I wanted to know why this happened. I want to be sure this was just a fluke circumstance and not an error made by the dentist.

Sincerely,
Randi

Dear Randi,

While this is quite rare, there are some things that may have hinted that something was “off”, like tooth pain, jaw pain, or if the tooth was connecting first when you bit down.

Another possibility is the way the material handled stress, though it is unlikely that this is the case. However, if this were the case, it is possible there was some sort of defect in the material before use, though this, too, is unlikely.

Another thought is if you grind or clench your teeth, this may be the cause. Each tooth has a different threshold in terms of the amount of force it can withstand. This is why some restorations my break, while others do not. If this occurs during the day, practising relaxation exercises can help. If it’s taking place at night, a night guard will prevent the grinding.

The majority of crowns can handle this to an extent, so you can’t rule out the material used or a mistake made by the dentist. It’s worth having him redo the procedure. It would be good to see what he thinks is the cause. Dentists have restorations fail from time to time. So long as this is not the norm, and he wants to fix the issue, it sounds like you’re in good hands.

This post is brought to you by Vista Dorada Denta, Dr. Matt Roper.