I need some help. I needed a crown on the tooth next to my two front teeth. My temporary was darker than the rest of my teeth, but my dentist assured me that he’d pick the whitest shade for my permanent crown. I went ahead with the order. Unfortunately, when the crown came back it was much darker than the rest of my teeth as well. My dentist assures me that he ordered the whitest shade possible. How can this be accurate? Yes, I whiten my teeth, but I can’t possibly be the only person who whitens their teeth to need a dental crown to match? Is there anything I can do?
I think I know exactly what happened here. It sounds like you go to a decent family dentist who doesn’t do much in the way of cosmetic work. That’s okay. Everyone has their passions. For your dentist, it is more the engineering side of dentistry than the artistic side. Here is where the colored wires got crossed.
Dentists use a shade guide when it comes to matching tooth colors. Below I have an example of what was a great shade guide back before teeth whitening took off.
As you can see, this is a great variety of natural tooth colors. The problem is many people, like yourself, prefer teeth which are whiter than typical natural shades. Dentists started having problems matching their patient’s teeth. That’s when companies started upgrading their guides. Below is the extended shade guide which includes shades for teeth which have undergone bleaching.
It sounds like your dentist still goes by the old basic shade guide. Go ahead and show him this post, so he knows there are now brighter options for him to match your dental crown. Replacing this crown is the only way to match it to your other teeth. Unfortunately, teeth whitening does not work on anything but natural tooth structure.
One other word of caution. Because this tooth is visible when you smile, make sure when your dentist replaces it, he uses an all-porcelain crown and not a metal-based one. It will look more natural and you’ll never have to worry about the unsightly gray line which metal-based crowns develop.
This blog is brought to you by Kalamazoo Dentist Dr. Susan Dennis.