My schedule is so tight that I decided to a same-day crown at a local dentist near my job. The crown is for a right lateral incisor. The dentist was so confident that she could do a perfect match, but the crown does not match. She replaced the crown twice, each time with the wrong color. During my last visit, the dentist told me to be happy that I could get the tooth fixed in a day. But my tooth isn’t fixed. I just want this obvious mismatch corrected. Am I asking being unreasonable? – Thank you, Leighanne
We understand your disappointment. Your dentist made it seem as if you are asking for too much to have your crown match your other teeth. A match is essential for a front tooth, especially if you want to feel comfortable about your smile.
Matching a dental crown for a front tooth
It takes skill and patience for a dentist to achieve a perfect match for a crown on a front tooth. And it becomes more challenging to achieve the match with a same-day crown—especially if the dentist does not understand techniques for doing any aesthetic touchups to the crown. It is normal to try-in the crown two or three times to ensure a perfect match. But a real cosmetic dentist will not give up and tell you to be happy with the results.
We guess that your dentist uses a Vita shade guide and is frustrated because the shade guide isn’t achieving a match. But an advanced cosmetic dentist would take these steps to achieve a match with a crown:
- Work with a master dental ceramist to craft a highly aesthetic crown
- Draw a color map for the ceramist
- Provide written instructions that specify a basic shade
- Draw areas where the ceramist would need to add tints to exactly match your natural teeth
- Try-in the crown when it arrives to check for color and take pictures of your teeth
- Communicate discrepancies with the ceramist and send photos
- Cement the crown only when the try-in is successful and you’re sure that the color match is exactly what you want
Get a second opinion
Although same-day crowns offer convenience and a metal-free alternative, if your dentist doesn’t know how to get a close match to your natural teeth with the crown, you are wasting time and money. Many dentists do not have much training in cosmetic dentistry beyond dental school. Don’t be surprised if a cosmetic dentist recommends a custom crown from a ceramist to give you beautiful results. We recommend that you find a cosmetic dentist to examine your crown and explain your options for matching a crown to your tooth shade.
Dr. Rekha Reddy of Dallas, TX, sponsors this post.