My dentist told me that I’ve whitened my teeth so much that it has become impossible to match my teeth to dental work. I need a dental crown on a lateral incisor and he said my teeth are too white to get a good match. Shouldn’t he have warned me about that? He’s the one doing all the whitening.
Based on what you have said, my guess is that teeth whitening is the only type of cosmetic dentistry that your dentist actually does. Here is why I think that. When dentists match a tooth to a color for dental work they use a shade guide. For years, there was only one type of shade guide (pictured above).
Then, in the 1990s, teeth whitening became massively popular. One thing people don’t realize about teeth whitening is that not only does it remove stains, but they can also make the teeth whiter than their most natural white color. As teeth whitening gained in popularity, dentists began noticing that patients’ teeth were whiter than the whitest shade on the shade guide.
Fortunately, as this happened more often, the shade guides caught up. They added an extension that matched the new whiter shades of people’s teeth. Dentists who do a lot of cosmetic work, have the updated shade guide (pictured directly above).
While I am aware that you can just tell your dentist about this updated shade guide and get your crown matched that way, I do not think that will be your best option. This tooth will be very visible when you smile. You will want a dentist with cosmetic skills to match this tooth exactly. It requires more than just the initial shade match. Your dentist will have to give the ceramist instructions that add tints and stains around the tooth to help it mimic the variations in a natural tooth. If he doesn’t even have the correct shade guide, then he will not be able to create a good shade map for the ceramist. You will be better off having your dental crown done by a dentist who does a lot more cosmetic work.
This blog is brought to you by Duluth, GA Dentist Dr. David Marion.