Why Is My CEREC Crown Ugly?

I was pushed to get a CEREC crown. In doing the “sales pitch”, I kept hearing how far superior they are because they’re milled by computer. Supposedly, that makes them more accurate. Yet, my CEREC crown is ugly. It doesn’t match my other teeth. The color is off and flat. Is this the computer genius accuracy I’d been touted?

Loren N. – Pennsylvania


First, I want to say I hate that you felt pushed into a procedure. This isn’t how dentistry is supposed to work. The dentist should give the pros and cons of all your options and leave the choice to you. Feeling so pushed into a procedure is bad form on the part of your dentist.

Next, I’m going to defend the CEREC machine for just a second. The problem isn’t the machine–It’s the dentist.  The machine mills the crown, yes. But, the coloring of the crown is done by your dentist.

If the color doesn’t match, it’s on him (or her). You can ask him to do it again, especially if it doesn’t match. If it’s a front tooth, you might consider a traditional crown. CEREC crowns are milled out of a single block of porcelain. That will make it hard to keep the same natural translucency you’d get out of a traditional crown that can be made from several different pieces of porcelain.

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How Do I Deal with My Husband’s Dental Anxiety?

I have a two-pronged problem with my husband. He has a toothache. However, he suffers from dental anxiety. He’d never admit that, of course. Instead, he blames finances. A couple of years ago, he was laid off. He’s since found a new position, but he keeps saying we need to catch up financially before he indulges in a dental appointment. I’m sure it’s his dental anxiety. How can I help him?

Vicki E. – Delaware


Your husband is not the first man to struggle with dental anxiety. If you combine that with financial anxiety then you have your hands full getting him to go. However, I have some help for you.

There are dentists who cater to fearful patients. They’re not only sensitive to their fears, but can provide a sedation option if necessary.

There is a way to help his financial anxiety as well. Many dentists understand that people with dental anxiety avoid the dentist, which causes them to need more work than they would otherwise have needed. As a result, they’ve made provisions to help them with payments.

Let him know of these options. It may ease his way back.  It is important he gets his toothache looked at. If it’s an infection it will spread.

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Are Veneers Really Necessary For Dental Implants?

I need a second opinion. I’ve been wearing a two dental flipper for the last few years. My childhood dentist said when I was a little older I’d want to get dental implants. I’ve reached the age he suggested. I think he said my jaw needed to stop growing first. I’ve been calling around for affordable dental implants, because I’m a young adult with no parents so money doesn’t come easily. I did want a dentist who was known for good cosmetic work. He was. But, when I had my consultary appointment he said in order to have dental implants that matched, I’d need four porcelain veneers. One on either side of the two front teeth that need implants in order for them to match. If that’s really necessary I guess there’s nothing I can do about it. But, I won’t be able to get the implants any time soon. I’ll need to save up until I can also afford the veneers too. I’m disappointed because the flippers are a tad annoying.

Maddie R. – North Carolina


I have good news and bad news for you. First, the good news. You can definitely get dental implants without porcelain veneers. Now for the bad news. You’ll likely need to find another dentist to do it. You may have heard this dentist is good with cosmetics but I can assure you he’s not. I can tell you that just based on your comments above.

A good cosmetic dentist is able to match a single implant on a single tooth to the rest of your teeth. This dentist needs to give you a set of six restorations. That’s because he doesn’t have the skill to properly match them and will be making all six similar so it looks like he’s matched them.

I can understand why you find the flippers annoying. They’re meant to be temporary tooth replacements. Your childhood dentist was right to give them to you though. Your jaw did need to fully develop before you had implants placed. Though now that you’re ready, why stick with the temporaries?

Dental implants are much nicer tooth replacements. They’ll feel much like your natural teeth did before you lost them. They’re much more comfortable than the flippers too.

Be careful in finding “affordable dental implants“. You don’t want to confuse cheap with affordable. If you get a dentist who is less than skilled or who cuts corners to save money and increase his profits. That can end up costing you a small fortune both financially and with your health.

Because you want these replacements to last the rest of your life, I’d focus on finding a great dentist with a lot of training in successful cases in implants. Almost every dentist is willing to work with patients on payments.

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Reconsidering Affordable Dental Implants

I was just about to take the plunge and get affordable dental implants, but an experience my sister had has given me pause to doubt.  She went to this very reputable dentist in Mexico. His prices were so affordable, it was cheaper for her to cross the border and stay at a hotel several times. He’d studied in the U.S., had great reviews, and spoke fluent English. She was so excited to be saving thousands of dollars. The procedure seemed to go fine, then she suddenly had half her face swell up like a balloon. She went back. He gave her an antibiotic, but it didn’t work. Now she’s had to have them removed and she’s right back at the beginning without anything to show for it.  Is there no choice but to get expensive implants?

Brooke S. – Texas


I’m sorry for your sister’s experience. There are legitimate reasons dental implants cost more in the United States. We have much stricter standards for both the dentists and the parts they use in their procedures. Additionally, dentists are required to carry insurance.

I couldn’t tell you if the problem was the dentist,  or faulty material, or if everything was done properly but the procedure failed anyway. That even happens to the best of dentists. However, in Mexico, there are no regulations on the dentists, so even if it was his fault she’s got no real recourse unless the dentist just feels like giving her her money back.

However, there is a way to get affordable dental implants here in the United States where you’re much more likely to have a successful, sanitary procedure. Talk to your dentist about what affordable dental implant options are available for your particular case.

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