I’ve been going to the same family dentist for years. Now my kids go to him. He doesn’t do cosmetic dentistry, so whenever I wanted to whiten my teeth, I went to a colleague of his that does. So, I go to him for my regular dental work and her for my teeth whtiening. I’ve recently been dealing with some health issues and had neglected my oral health care. As a result, I need my first crown. My dentist said my teeth are so white he can’t match the crown to the other teeth. Should I go to the cosmetic dentist for this? It seems like he should be able to do this so I hate to take business away from him.
I’m glad you wrote. So, it would not be taking business away from your dentist because, as you said, he does not do cosmetic work. In a way, matching a dental crown to teeth that have undergone teeth whitening is cosmetic work. Here is what your family dentist is up against.
Before teeth whitening grew in popularity, the shade guide above is what dentists would use to match a tooth. The thing about teeth whitening is it does not just whiten the stains on your teeth. It can also whiten the natural pigment. That means some teeth, such as yours, will be whiter than the lightest shade on the old shade guide. This is probably the guide your dentist is working from.
However, dentists who do a lot of cosmetic work use a newer shade guide that has a broader group of whiter shades. The way I see it, you have two choices. You can go to the dentist who does the teeth whitening and she should be able to match the tooth. Another option is to let your family dentist know about the newer shade guide and see if he’d like to try from that.
One word or caution, if this is a very front tooth, you may want to stick with the cosmetic dentist. Even among dentists who do cosmetic work only about 2% can accurately match a front tooth. So, whoever you decide to have do it, make sure they use a temporary try-in paste first and let you see it in a variety of lights before you give final approval for them to bond it on.