I’m trying to figure out why my dental flipper, that I wore while my dental implant was healing, was better able to match my other teeth than my implant crown is. I’m on crown number three and none of them have matched the adjacent teeth. This last visit my dentist told me I should be grateful for what I have and stop trying to get everything perfect. Some teeth are complicated and don’t match. She said my teeth are between the two shades she can choose from and I’ll never be satisfied. She also warned that if I kept having her mess with the crown, I could end up losing the dental implant. I was thinking of going to a different dentist to have the crown down, but don’t want to risk losing the implant due to further manipulation. What should I do? The flipper matched better. Can’t she just use the same material as that?
It really burns me up when medical professionals blame patients for their own lack of knowledge. Obviously, the teeth can be matched or the dental flipper wouldn’t have done it. Plus, you are NOT asking too much to have your teeth match. Everyone wants their teeth to be uniform in color.
In truth, even the best cosmetic dentists will take a couple of try-ins before they can match a front tooth perfectly. Knowing that, they will use a temporary try-in paste so that it is easy to remove. Only once the porcelain crown matches your adjacent teeth will it be permanently bonded. Based on what you’ve said above, your dentist is permanently bonding it each time and then having to grind it off. This is another clue to me that she is not experienced with cosmetic work. Even with that, it will be okay for you to go to another dentist and get this matched without harm to your dental implant. That is a scare tactic on her part to get you to leave her alone.
As for how to match a tooth, what your dentist is doing by just using the basic shade for a crown, works fine on back teeth, but our front teeth need some help from the dentist to match it perfectly. Going by your dentist’s feedback, let’s say A1 was too grey/white and A2 was too yellow. That’s okay. What she’d do is take notes on what she’s seeing on the tooth then add different tints, drawing a “map” of sorts (as you see above) to show the ceramist where to add these shades to obtain the right visual effect needed to match your adjacent teeth.
Even without all that work, your dentist could have at least told the ceramist to go halfway between A1 and A2. Yet, she doesn’t seem to want to bother with even the basics. Bottom line, you’re with the wrong dentist. The best dentists work to give their patients the best result. Her comment about “Stop wanting everything perfect.” is very telling. She’s happy with sloppy effort and doesn’t seem to take any real pride in her work.
If you have an AACD accredited dentist in your area, that would be the ideal. These are the top cosmetic dentists in the country. If you don’t, there may still be a highly skilled cosmetic dentist near you who just hasn’t finished the accreditation process. In that case, try mynewsmile.com. They have a “find a cosmetic dentist” link. They only list skilled cosmetic dentists, so you should be able to find someone in a reasonable distance to you.
Don’t give up. You can have a smile that matches.
This blog is brought to you by Tulsa Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Jerome Cha.