I was devastated when I fell and broke my two front teeth. The dentist ended up needing to do three root canals with three porcelain crowns on my front teeth. I was told they would blend in nicely and look natural. However, they didn’t look good. The color was off and I think they looked bigger than the others around them. The dentist understood when I complained and offered to redo them.
Well, the next set of crowns were a better color and didn’t look as thick. Overall, they looked much more natural than the first set. Well, now I’m noticing an ugly grey color after they were cemented. I could tell the dentist is starting to get annoyed with me. However, I feel like I deserve to have them look nice. Am I asking too much? He is reluctant to do another set and said that he will do his best to make the “core” more. I have some serious doubts that the third time will be a charm.
Do you have any advice?
-Pam in Oregon
Sadly, it sounds like this dentist doesn’t have the knowledge or experience in cosmetic dentistry that is required to make them lifelike and natural-looking. This scenario plays out more than you may realize. Many family dentists think they are cosmetic dentists or that they can handle it. When the color or shape doesn’t look right and they keep trying again. The fact is that in order to do beautiful cosmetic dentistry, a dentist must do extensive training beyond dental school. Not just any dentist can do it, even if they say so.
Two or more crowns on front teeth are really quite straightforward for an excellent cosmetic dentist. Since this dentist has had difficulties getting the color and shapes correct, I would be hesitant to have him try again. However, you have every right to be picky. Porcelain crowns should blend in beautifully and when they are done correctly, no one will be able to tell you’ve had any dental work done. So, don’t settle. You have to live with the final result.
Other than that, it is difficult to interpret exactly what kinds of crowns you had done. The grey tone is often associated with crowns placed on a metal post. However, there are other factors that may contribute to the grey color. When he references the core being more white, it is possible he is still using a metal post inside the tooth. So, the gray could be the metal showing through the translucent ceramic material.
There are other post options that will give a more uniform color on porcelain crowns. If you are stuck with the metal core, an opaque layer could be bonded to the metal to dull that metal color. Then, the crown is bonded to the opaque layer. However, you shouldn’t be the one educating your dentist. You are right to doubt the ability of your dentist at this point. And if at all possible, it would be wise for you to seek another opinion.
It is also concerning that you as a patient are in a tough spot now. You had an accident and a general dentist should have known how to fix this problem. But, there is a lack of understanding of the skill required for excellent cosmetic dentistry versus functional dentistry.
Hopefully, you keep pursuing this issue until it is perfect. You deserve to have a smile that looks natural and you should have no hesitation to keep questioning the work until you get it.
Best of luck!
This post is sponsored by Lexington cosmetic dentist Hamburg Expressions.