In February 2019, I received six new CEREC® crowns on teeth #6-11. It all began with an accident when I was 14 years old that chipped my upper front teeth and the two teeth on either side of them. My dentist repaired the damage with bonding. It looked good, and I didn’t have any problems. Then when I was 28 years old, another dentist recommended replacing the aging and discolored bonding with crowns.
Now I’m 48 years old, and last year I agreed with my dentist that my original crowns were old and discolored. My dentist replaced them with CEREC crowns. Something about the crowns changed the spacing of my teeth, and my bite is off. The way the crowns fit is causing me to repeatedly click my teeth together, like when a person is shivering cold and their teeth uncontrollably tap, tap, tap. It’s annoying, and people who hear my chattering teeth ask if I am okay. It’s embarrassing because it makes me look like I’m a bundle of nerves. My seven trips back to the dentist for adjustments haven’t helped either. I think the problem is also due to the walrus-like length of the crowns, but my dentist doesn’t agree.
Another issue is that when I wake up in the morning, I feel a burning sensation on the back of my teeth. I chew a lot of gum to relieve the burning. My dentist tells me I’m hypersensitive to pain but can’t seem to explain the origin of the burning sensation. I think it’s burning mouth syndrome caused by whatever is wrong with my CEREC crowns. I’ve had a second opinion with a dentist who said the crowns look fine. Is there anything my dentist can do to stop the burning sensation and correct my bite problems? – Tyler W. from Mobile, AL
Tyler – We realize that it’s disappointing and uncomfortable to have several issues with the look and feel of your CEREC crowns. When a dentist provides you with crowns and ensures your bite is aligned, you shouldn’t have any lingering issues. Dr. Finley would need to examine your restorations to determine the cause of your discomfort. But we can provide some insight.
Your Treatment History
- After your accident during your teenage years, your dentist successfully placed composite bonding—a healthy, conservative treatment option.
- Years later, a dentist aggressively reduced your six teeth to a stump and replaced the bonding with crowns.
- In a case like yours, a cosmetic dentist would follow the conservative approach by removing the old bonding and replacing it with new bonding—not dental crowns. It seems that there was no need for your dentist to replace the bonding with crowns, and it makes us suspicious of his or her ethics.
- Now you have CEREC crowns and multiple issues associated with them.
Possible causes of the problems with your CEREC crowns
- If your upper and lower teeth don’t make contact correctly, something went wrong with the placement of your CEREC crowns, and your bite is off. Teeth that are too long can also affect your bite. A misaligned bite can contribute to unhealthy oral habits like tapping your teeth together. When a dentist correctly places crowns on your teeth, you won’t feel any discomfort.
- Although both your dentist and a second-opinion dentist say your teeth look fine, your bite can still be off. Besides, if you don’t like the look of your restorations, your dentist should make adjustments until you’re happy with your smile. There are occlusal principles that a dentist must follow to achieve correct bite with CEREC and all types of crowns:
- All teeth must meet simultaneously in centric occlusion and provide anterior guidance.
- Your canine teeth must be in the correct positions to provide canine protection–when you slide your jaw from side to side, the canines force the other teeth apart.
- Your dentist must properly shape your crowns to ensure they won’t negatively affect your speech.
What’s causing dry teeth and burning mouth?
The dryness in your teeth and mouth and the burning sensation might be associated with burning mouth syndrome—and stress can be the culprit. After a cosmetic dentist corrects the issues with your crowns and bite, the dryness and burning might resolve. If not, your cosmetic dentist will identify the cause and explain your treatment options.
We recommend that you get the opinion of a dentist who has advanced training and experience in occlusion. Although most dental schools don’t provide extensive training in occlusion and bite, it’s available from several institutes. Look for a dentist who has received training in occlusion from one of these institutes:
- Dawson Academy
- Las Vegas Institute
- Pankey Institute
- Spear Education Center
A cosmetic dentist will let you know your options for ensuring you receive ceramic crowns that look good and fit well.
This post is sponsored by Monroe, LA cosmetic dentist Dr. David Finley.