I think that cosmetic dentistry ruined my smile. My dentist whitened my teeth last December and placed six crowns on my front teeth in February. The crowns are supposed to be ceramic, but they are already turning yellow. Even if I drank coffee or smoked, I don’t think my crowns would be this color. My natural teeth and crowns do not match. Although my dentist says there is only a slight difference between my teeth and the crowns, the color is noticeable when I smile. My sister asked me what my dentist would do about my crowns. People notice my mismatched teeth, but my sister is the only one brave enough to say something. I am getting more embarrassed and self-conscious. I am afraid to ask my dentist to correct the crowns because I do not think she is capable. At the same time, I know she is responsible, and I should not have to pay another dentist for new crowns. What’s your advice? Thank you. Tyson from Oklahoma City
Thank you for your question.
We understand your frustration with trusting a dentist to improve your smile, but now your smile embarrasses you. Although Dr. Finley or Dr. Henderson would need to examine your crowns to determine why they are turning yellow, we will provide insight into what may be the culprit.
Why Causes New Dental Crowns to Turn Yellow?
New dental crowns may turn yellow if they are damaged or if they are a non-ceramic material. Consider these possibilities:
- Damage during crown manufacturing or placement – A dentist may grind your crowns to adjust your bite and mistakenly damage the glaze during the adjustment. Also, the dental lab may not have glazed your crowns properly. Dental glazes are glass powders that make crowns look glossy, like natural teeth.
- Damage while getting your teeth cleaned – Power instruments that blast sodium bicarbonate on your teeth to clean them will damage the glaze on your crowns. Also, an acidulated fluoride treatment will etch the glaze and discolor your crowns. A dental hygienist can mistakenly use the incorrect tools or chemicals on your teeth.
- Crowns made of non-ceramic material – If your dentist placed composite restorations on your teeth and not ceramic crowns, they would discolor. You can ask your dentist for a copy of the paperwork that shows what kind of crowns you have.
Get a Second Opinion
Schedule an appointment with an advanced—preferably accredited cosmetic dentist—for a second opinion. You will need an examination by the dentist to identify the cause of your yellow crowns. A skilled cosmetic dentist can restore your smile with new custom crowns that match the shade of your newly whitened teeth.
Dental crowns should last for at least five years, so your dentist owes you a refund. Before requesting a refund, get documentation from your second opinion dentist of the work needed to restore your smile.
Monore, Louisiana, accredited Fellow of cosmetic dentistry Dr. David Finley sponsors this post.