I’d like to get a referral to a dentist to get CEREC crowns on my front teeth. I really like the idea of having them done in one day so I don’t have to walk around for weeks with those unnatural-looking temporaries on. They always fall off and I have such trouble with them. The last thing I want to do is go through all that with my front teeth. My dentist normally does CEREC crowns- that’s how I know about them, but he said he won’t do it that way with my front teeth. I’m not sure why, but I think it’s because he charges more for the other kind. I’m thinking about going somewhere else, just so I can get CEREC crowns done on these. Any recommendations?

Bill – Portland

Dear Bill,

CEREC crowns have their limitations. They are fabulous for saving time and limiting how many visits you need, but they’re not always the best choice for aesthetics. If the dentist you already see does CEREC crowns, then it sounds like he’s a fan of them, but also recognizes when they might not be the best choice.

It takes a lot of work to make a restoration look natural. If you think about it, your tooth is made up of layers, and there’s a perfect mix of colors blending, as well as opacity. With traditional lab-made restorations, they try to mimic it by adding layers of porcelain, shading the restoration, and glazing it. CEREC crowns are a single block of material that is trimmed down to match the shape of the tooth. Although it can blend in pretty well in the back of the mouth, it’s very difficult to make them look natural in anterior teeth.

If you want your teeth to look beautiful and natural in the long run, it’s probably best to heed your dentist’s advice and go with the standard lab-made ones. Yes, you’ll have to wear the temporaries, but this is just for a couple of weeks, compared to the possibility of being stuck with front teeth you don’t like for a decade or more. If time is a huge concern for you, mention it to your dentist. Sometimes the lab can “rush” cases or prioritize yours so it gets processed quicker. There’s usually an extra fee for this, but you may find it worthwhile if you’re eager to have your new smile quicker.

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