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My Crown Was Whiter Than My Teeth Now It’s the Other Way Around

I have a dental crown. For the last few years, it’s been whiter than my teeth. I drink a lot of coffee, so the natural assumption is the coffee’s been staining my teeth, but not the crown. I decided to whiten my teeth. It worked. My teeth look much whiter and brighter now. The problem is they’re whiter than the crown now. My dentist thinks everything looks fine, but said we can change the crown if I’m not happy. I’ve tried just getting those over the counter Crest Whitestrips, cutting them to fit the crown, but they’re not whitening. Would getting a round of professional whitening just on the crown work?

Lieza K.

Dear Lieza,

Your dentist has done you a grave disservice. He should have warned you that dental work does not respond to teeth whitening, even professional teeth whitening. It’s his responsibility to let you know the pros and cons of every procedure.

The Crest Whitestrips aren’t ineffective because they’re over-the-counter. It’s because you’re expecting them to do something not even the whitening your dentist does can accomplish. The one thing your dentist is correct about is the solution. If you want the crown to match your teeth, it will have to be replaced.

I’m assuming because the color difference bothers you the crown is on a front tooth. If that’s the case, you’ll want them to place an all-porcelain crown. They’re more translucent than their metal-based counterparts. That enables them to look just like your natural teeth.

It’s disappointing your dentist didn’t warn you about this ahead of time. It’s teeth whitening 101 so he must have known. That’s put you in the unfortunate position of having to spend more money to get your smile to match.

If you stay with this dentist, just let this be a lesson to you to ask every possible question you can think of. What worries me about that is, as a patient, you don’t always know what questions to ask. He should be giving you the information you need, unspured.

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