I fell in January and damaged three front teeth. My dentist did root canals and crowns on all three teeth – my center front teeth and right incisor. Although my dentist is easygoing about redoing the work for me, the crowns are too thick, and the color is off. They do not match my natural teeth. The crowns look gray, and although my dentist is willing to redo them, he says that he cannot guarantee an exact match. He says he will get the core as white as possible. Am I supposed to settle for gray teeth? My anxiety level is increasing over how many more dental visits it will take to get this right. Thank you. Sheron
Unfortunately, like many family dentists, your dentist does not know enough about cosmetic dentistry and matching tooth color. It takes post-graduate cosmetic dentistry training and an artistic eye to match crowns to the characteristics and color of your natural teeth.
If Dental Crowns Are Too Thick and the Wrong Color
If your dental crowns are too thick and the color is, you should not settle for your dentist’s skill level. We encourage you to insist on getting what you agreed to—natural-looking crowns. No one should be able to tell that your front teeth are crowns.
Although you did not give us clinical details about the types of crowns your dentist placed, several factors can cause crowns to look gray.
- Pure ceramic crowns with a metal post – A metal post and core reinforce a tooth, and the color of the metal can show through the ceramic.
- A skilled cosmetic can provide crowns that are not gray. Either of these methods might work:
- Fiberglass post – A fiberglass post and a composite core close to the color of your natural teeth will give your crowns natural translucence.
- Metal core with opaque layer – An opaque layer of composite bonding can be layered over the metal core. It will block the metallic color. Afterward, the dentist can bond the crown over the opaque layer.
- Incorporate opaquing into the crown – A skilled cosmetic dentist can instruct the ceramist about the crown color and the metal core. The ceramist can opaque the crown to conceal the metal.
Find a Dentist Who Can Reproduce Your Smile
Unfortunately, your dentist does not have enough training to correct your crowns and is not readily going to refer you to a cosmetic dentist who can. Dental schools minimize cosmetic concerns, and many in the dental profession do the same. Although Dr. Brooksher would need to examine your teeth, it seems that your case requires only a moderate level of aesthetic skill.
We recommend that you schedule a consultation with a skilled cosmetic dentist to explain your treatment options. Hopefully, your dentist will refund you or partially compensate you for being unable to give you crowns that reproduce the look of your natural teeth.
Although you will need more dental work, sedation dentistry can help a cosmetic dentist complete as much work as possible while relaxing and giving you quality results.
Steven Brooksher, DDS, of Baton Rouge sponsors this post.