My dentist told me that I needed to have a porcelain crown done. He also mentioned that it was a good time to get teeth whitening if I was interested, because the color of the crown was unchangeable once it was done.
I decided that sounded like a good idea, so I went in to have the Zoom whitening procedure. Then, after about a month, I had the crown done. The dentist kept going on about how nice it would all look when we were done. But, I disagree. The tooth with the crown doesn’t show all the time, but it is noticeably darker than my other teeth. Unfortunately, I didn’t notice the color difference until after he had permanently cemented it.
I don’t feel like it’s fair that I have to live with it now. When I complained, he told me that he used the whitest color available and that it only looks darker because it’s further back than the other teeth. He tried to tell me it wasn’t a big deal because people wouldn’t really notice it when I smile. That’s not the case though. It is the third tooth from my front tooth on top. I can see it and I know others do too. When I called back in, the office staff told me that the whitening would fade over time and it should blend in.
Is there anything that can be done? Or am I stuck with this dark-looking crown.
-Silvia in Nevada
Unfortunately, it sounds like the dentist you worked with not may be the most experienced in doing cosmetic dentistry. The fact of the matter is that less than 2% of dentists possess the skills necessary to fit into the elite category of doing dentists that are capable of doing beautiful cosmetic dentistry. But many general dentists make the claim to be cosmetic dentists. As a patient, it can be difficult to understand. Of course you trusted that the crown would end up matching the teeth whitening treatment you had done. So, of course it’s understandable that you are frustrated and unhappy.
Even though he said that he used the whitest shade possible, he didn’t account for how white your newly whitened teeth would end up. The color matching should have taken place after the whitening was done. It’s likely he chose the whitest “natural” shade available. But since your teeth are much whiter now, the whitest natural shade just doesn’t match up.
Also, responses like your whitening will fade and it will blend in, or it doesn’t even show when you smile, further demonstrate this dentist’s lack of understanding in cosmetic dentistry. Most of your top teeth will show when you smile. So, you’re absolutely right that it is noticeable. He should have done a better job when selecting the final color of your crown. Also, you should have had an opportunity to see what it would look like before it was cemented in. An excellent cosmetic dentist would make sure you absolutely loved the way it looked before cementing it in. All these actions sound like he isn’t an appearance-focused dentist.
As you are aware, the color of the crown cannot be changed at this point. And the other teeth aren’t going to suddenly fade to the perfect shade and match up over time. The other issue is that you went ahead and spent the extra money on the teeth whitening procedure anticipating that the crown would match. The only corrective action available at this point is to have the crown redone. The dentist should be willing to redo the work free of charge. Don’t settle for getting used to it or dealing with it. You deserve to get what you paid for.
In the future, be more selective when considering cosmetic dentistry. Not every dentist has the passion, skill or training for it. And thank you for your question and sharing your story. Hopefully, it will help someone else in this situation in the future.
This post is sponsored by York PA dentist Donald H. Currie, DMD.