Is it possible to get porcelain veneers and crowns to match?

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I currently have porcelain veneers and just had one crown placed. Is there any way to get them all to look the same? I am wondering if the lab screwed up because I feel like my crown stands out because it is whiter than the surrounding teeth. Is there anything else that can be done at this point? I paid too much money not to love my smile.

-Sandra in California


Well, your dentist isn’t the only one that has struggled with matching a single porcelain crown in with existing porcelain veneers. This may be an issue that stems from his or her training back in dental school. Some basic color concepts aren’t taught until pursuing additional cosmetic dentistry coursework. This is also the difference between general dentists that “do” cosmetic dentistry and expert cosmetic dentists that are passionate about creating absolute, flawless smiles.

Porcelain is an excellent restoration material because it behaves very similarly to enamel. But what’s likely happening here is that the porcelain crown is much thicker than the veneers. So the discoloration underneath the veneers may be showing through, where it’s not showing on the crown because the porcelain is much thicker.

So, this isn’t the result of an issue at the lab. It can be solved with a technique using opaquers. It’s tricky and not any dentist can pull it off. One way is for the opaquers to be added to the porcelain. But that means the lab must be highly skilled and experienced using this technique in order to make the veneers appear just as translucent as the crown. It requires a high level of coordination between the lab and the cosmetic dentist.

Another way to avoid this issue is by adding the opaque layer during the tooth preparation step. But since you are past the tooth preparation phase, you would be best served by seeing an expert cosmetic dentist. Some of the work may need to be redone in order to pull off a seamless look. So, it can be done. But it is difficult to give you specific details without having seen your case in person.

Thank you for your question.

This post is sponsored by Lexington cosmetic dentist Hamburg Expressions.