Should I switch dentists if mine doesn’t do CEREC crowns?

I need to have a dental crown. I was really keen on getting a CEREC crown, because I’m new at work and get no personal time yet. They’ve made it clear that if I miss a lot of work I won’t be retained in the position. A one visit crown sounds perfect. My dentist doesn’t do them, so I’m wondering if I should switch dentists. Is it worth it? Are they as strong as the regular kind?

Camille V. – Portland, OR


You’re in a tough spot. CEREC crowns aren’t any better or worse than regular crowns. ¬†Though, they’re not always done of front teeth because they’re milled with a single block of porcelain and many dentists prefer having a more varicolored option.

It seems the bigger benefit to you would be the single appointment, but switching to another dentist might require two visits anyway. One for a consultation and another for the appointment.

My suggestion would be to see if your dentist would be willing to do the second appointment either after hours or on a Saturday. If you explain your situation he or she may be willing to come on off hours to help you.

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Help! I have an irrational fear of needles

I’m really hoping you can help me. I have an irrational fear of needles. A seriously irrational fear. I passed out when I had to have my tetnus shot updated for a trip. I have a toothache. I know I need to see a dentist, but I’m positive I’m going to end up needing a local anesthetic. I can’t bear the thought. Is there anything that can help me with this? I don’t want to let my teeth get damaged, but I can’t do a needle either.

Brenda M. – California


Don’t feel badly. You’re not the only one who has a fear of the needles. When there is a dental patient with fear as severe as yours, I generally recommend oral conscious sedation. There are no needles required and you can have a completely pain free dental appointment.

Before any dental work is done, you’re given a pill to take. This pill will relax you. Completely relax you. In fact, you’ll need someone to drive you to and from your appointment.

If at that point your dentist still needs to do a local anesthetic, you won’t feel it. It will be the best time you’ve ever had at the dentist.

Ideally, you want someone who is DOCS certified, like Dr. Theriot. You can read more about that on our cater to cowards webpage.

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Are affordable dental implants safe?

I need to replace a few teeth, but the cost of dental implants is pretty high. My dentist told me you can get more affordable dental implants. ¬† However, my friends feel like they’re not as safe. Would I be putting myself in danger if I got some?

Mary S. – Nevada


There are lots of different types of affordable dental implants. Most are perfectly safe. The danger comes with an inexperienced dentist. It takes a lot of training to do dental implants well, affordable or not.

I’d ask the dentist a few things.

  1. Where did they get their implant training? Once you find that out, make sure it’s a reputable school. The Las Vegas Institute of Advanced Dental Studies, The Kois Center, Dawson Academy are a few really good ones.
  2. How many hours of training? Two hundred hours would be a decent number, where I’d expect they had the technical training.
  3. How many procedures have they done succesfully?

If they’re not willing to answer these questions for you, then I’d look for another dentist. There are dentists out there who will draw peole in with the affordable angle, but cut corners to make the same profit.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. John Theriot.