Rough porcelain crowns.

 / Rough porcelain crowns.

Rough porcelain crowns.

My wife wasn’t happy with the porcelain crowns she had done. They just didn’t look good when she smiled. We went to an approved dentist on our dental insurance plan, so we thought all would be fine. Well, when she went in for a follow-up she tried to explain how she thought they looked kind of fake. He told her he would take care of it and proceeded to buff the crowns. The buffing was supposed to make them blend in with the her other teeth. She was told that with the colors they had available, that was the best they could do. Also, they may feel rough and not be shiny like the used to be. Is this common? Even with insurance we paid a lot out of pocket for her to be unhappy.

– Rob in Utah


When porcelain crowns are done by an excellent cosmetic dentist, there will be no settling for whatever the office has on-hand that is closest. Your question brings up a very good point about general dentistry versus cosmetic dentistry. You didn’t do anything wrong. In fact, you trusted that the dentist approved by your dental insurance knew what he or she was doing. Well problem is, cosmetic dentistry is an art. It takes a passion for creating beauty and comes from more of an aesthetic perspective than a functional one.

You need to find an experienced cosmetic dentist in your area. Porcelain is a beautiful restoration material. It is shiny and translucent, and it should blend in naturally with the surrounding teeth. When the glaze was buffed off by your dentist, sadly this did damage them. They will deteriorate over time and since they aren’t sealed anymore, the crowns will stain and continue to look worse and worse. When you find a true cosmetic dentist, one that has pursued extensive training beyond dental school and has experience fixing cases like yours, there is a solution. A diamond polish can remedy the situation and return the porcelain crowns to their brilliance.

Of course, crowns should be functionally correct. But when it comes to beauty, stick to cosmetic dentist versus whomever your insurance has negotiated discount rates with. Unfortunately, this is not uncommon. The best cosmetic dentists explain that a large percentage of their patients come from the mishaps of other dentists.


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