My two front teeth needed crowns. So the dentist took a lot of time trying to match the crowns up to blend in with the teeth immediately around them. So he was super cautious asking me for my input throughout the process and we both agreed they looked great during the try-on portion of the appointment. But when he cemented them in, I was shocked when I smiled in the mirror. They look gray! When I told the dentist, he informed me that it was probably just the lighting. He said it shouldn’t be any different than what we saw during try-on because the permanent cement is transparent. Am I crazy? What do I do?
-Beth in Illinois
Sorry to hear you are feeling unhappy with the color of your porcelain crowns. It sounds like your dentist was making ever effort to be proactive in matching them up with your surrounding teeth. There is one question that comes to mind – were the crowns dry when you signed off on them? Or was there a try-in paste that was used so you could see them?
It is possible that the paste may have provided a different color if it was used to place the crowns in temporarily. Now if the crowns were placed over the teeth and were dry, then they don’t show any color beneath because the underlying color of the tooth wouldn’t show. When the bonding takes place, the underlying tooth would be visible. Any discoloration or staining would show through. Now, it was assumed that these were all-porcelain crowns since they were on front teeth. If they were indeed porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, then the metal used in the construction of the crown may show through it. It is possible that is what the gray color your are experiencing. Most excellent cosmetic dentists would not use porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
The other issue may be along the lines of what your dentist was explaining where lighting influences the color interpretation. Porcelain may appear different under day light, natural light, or even fluorescent light. That said, the bonding agents should not change colors in the curing process and should not affect the end result. So there is something strange going on here.
Give it a few days. It may just be strange to see the new teeth as they are and if it is consistent on both your teeth, then maybe it will all work out okay. Otherwise, if you can’t get pass it, make a point to diplomatically explain to your dentist why it is unacceptable. It sounds like this may end up being a learning experience for him and should be done free of charge. Good luck and thank you for your question.