In September, my dentist placed four new zirconia crowns on my upper front teeth. The crowns don’t match the shape of my natural teeth. They look like they would not match the shape of anyone’s natural teeth. My mistake was to ask my dentist to do the work. He said he could do it for $600 – $800 less than other dentists because I am an existing patient. Thank you, Ada
My dentist agrees that my teeth do not look natural, so he referred me to a prosthodontist to correct the issue. Now the shape of my teeth is okay, but the color is off. I made the mistake of asking for sedation before I saw the crowns. The prosthodontist cemented the crowns without me getting a non-sedated look at them. I am angry and frustrated. He said he will change the color if I pay for it. Why should I pay for teeth that look gray? Isn’t a prosthodontist a specialist?
It’s unfortunate to know you’ve had two bad experiences with dentists who can’t give you natural-looking results with crowns.
Your dentist should take responsibility to correct your smile in the best way possible instead of referring you to a prosthodontist. Although prosthodontists have two to three years of training in restoring teeth, few are artists in cosmetic dentistry. They can get the technical details and function correctly, but the aesthetics are often lacking. But an excellent cosmetic dentist is concerned about the details that make your smile look natural. And they don’t bond the work to your teeth unless you love the way it looks.
Zirconia crowns for front teeth
Although a dentist can give you zirconia crowns on your front teeth, it takes advanced cosmetic dentistry training to make the crowns look natural.
- Zirconia crowns are made from a block – A dental lab tech makes zirconia crowns from blocks and mills them into shape to fit over your tooth. But a zirconia block has one color throughout it. Your natural teeth have variations in color and translucence.
- Porcelain layers can make zirconia look natural – A zirconia crown cannot recreate the look of your tooth unless a ceramist bakes porcelain onto the surface and manipulates the color.
Sedation for dental crowns
If you need sedation when your crowns are cemented, your dentist can create temporary crowns first. If you like the temporary crowns, a dental ceramist can duplicate them when making your permanent restorations. Before you are sedated for the final crowns, at least you know you approved them.
Our recommendations are below:
- Discontinue treatment – Don’t let the prosthodontist do any more work on your teeth. He isn’t interested in giving you crowns that you love.
- Ask for a refund – Depending on the extent of color mismatch in your crowns, you may only receive a partial refund.
- Look for an advanced cosmetic dentist – Don’t rely on a referral. Look for a dentist with credentials (accreditation, at least) from the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry or the American Academy of Dental Aesthetics.
Steven Brooksher, DDS, is a cosmetic and implant dentist in Baton Rouge, LA. Read about his credentials and visit his smile gallery.