My dentist just got a CEREC machine and wants me to get one for my new cavity. I’m a little concerned it won’t hold up as well as regular crowns. I tend to grind my teeth at night. Is he wanting me to get these just to try out his machine or are they legitimately strong? I don’t want to waste money.

Greg L.

Dear Greg,

Gilbert CEREC Crown

Both CEREC crowns and traditional crowns are equally strong. The biggest difference is one is milled by computer and can be completed during your appointment instead of having to be sent out to a lab to be completed. This eliminates the need for a second appointment or a temporary crown.

However, if you are a teeth grinder that needs to be addressed right away. Your crowns, whether traditional or CEREC, will not hold up to the stress the grinding places on them. Truthfully, neither will your natural teeth. It’s likely the reason you’ve had to have so many dental crowns to begin with.

Not only does teeth grinding wear down your enamel which leaves your teeth vulnerable to both decay and cracking, it also will cause jaw pain, headaches, and eventually TMJ. That can become serious.

I’m very surprised your dentist hasn’t recommended a night guard to protect your teeth. As soon as your crown is completed, you need to be fit for a custom nightguard. You won’t be able to stop grinding your teeth, especially if you do it mostly in your sleep. However, the nightguard protects them from the stress of the grinding.

After that, a well made dental crown can last upwards of 15 years.

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