I had to get my first dental crown ever. My dentist said he gave me the whitest shade, but my teeth are whiter. How can my teeth be whiter than the whitest shade? It looks really weird. Can I use teeth whitening on the crown?
I’m glad you wrote and am certain I can help you. I’m having to make some assumptions here because I haven’t actually examined you. If any of these are wrong, feel free to write back and we’ll work the problem a different way. First, I am assuming that you have used teeth whitening in the past. Second, it appears your dentist does not do a lot of cosmetic work. With those two assumptions, here is what I think is going on, as well as how you can fix it.
First, when dentists are looking to match a shade of a tooth in order to match a crown to it, they always start with a shade guide. Directly above, I have posted an image of the old shade guide that dentists would use. Then, the 1990s came along and things changed. Teeth whitening skyrocketed in popularity. Suddenly, patients were coming into the dentist’s office with teeth that were whiter than anything on the shade guide. Dentists had a hard time matching dental work to their patient’s teeth.
Fortunately, it didn’t take long for cosmetic dentists to express the need for these shade guides to be updated, and the supply companies stepped up to the bat. Above, I have an image of an updated shade guide. Notice the extension on the left. This is where those brighter shades are placed. They are all much whiter than the whitest shade on the old shade guide.
I believe your dentist is still using the old shade guide. So, how do you fix this? Teeth whitening, while remarkably effective on teeth, will only whiten teeth. That means your natural teeth will get whiter but your dental crown will stay the same color. That will not have the effect you were hoping for. Instead, I suggest you inform your dentist about the new shade guide so he can give you the correct color crown. You can even show him this post if it helps.
This blog is brought to you by Decatur, AL Dentists Drs. Drake and Wallace.