I need some advice. I don’t know if the problem is the dentist or the lab, but my dentist cannot get my dental crown white enough to match my teeth. I’m new to the state and am using a different dentist than I normally would. However, this is my first dental crown so I don’t really know what to expect. I only came to him because of a dental emergency and he was available. I was in a car accident and had serious damage to a canine tooth as a result. He says he is using the whitest shade possible. I do whiten my teeth, but they don’t look unnaturally white. Just whiter than what he’s offering. It’s a noticeable difference though. Is it worth it for me to drive to my old state to get this to match or am I asking for the impossible?

Brooke

Dear Brooke,

I don’t think you’ll have to do anything as drastic as going to another state. I think I know what the problem may be here. Understand that this is mostly guess work, but I feel fairly confident with it. This dentist is probably a great bread and butter general dentist. He knows how to fix teeth and he does it well. However, he is more interested in the engineering factor than cosmetic work. He probably doesn’t really do any cosmetic work. This is the problem.

Old Vita Shade Guide
Old Vita Shade Guide

General dentists use a shade guide to help them match the crown they are making to your current shade of teeth (see above). He is probably using the same shade guide he’s always used. The problem with that is the popularity teeth whitening gained in the 90s. Teeth whitening does not just remove stains. It can also make your teeth whiter than even their original shade. That means the old shade guides were no longer as useful. Dental supply companies realized this and soon came out with an updated guide that included shades for whiter teeth (see below).

New Vita Shade Guide
New Vita Shade Guide

I would ask this dentist for a refund and then go to a dentist who does more cosmetic work. They will have the updated guide and can match your teeth.

This blog is brought to you by Gilbert Dentist Dr. Matt Roper.