Category Archives: Porcelain Crowns

Fake looking crowns/veneers

Both me and a friend  have tetracycline stained teeth. She had gotten a smile makeover with crowns and veneers and her smile looked beautiful, natural and completely translucent. I decided to get my smile done too, but mine looks really fake. I think the best way to describe them is opaque. What went wrong? Did my dentist use the wrong materials?

Jenneatte M.- Pelican Bay, TX


Generally, the problem is not the material, but the dentist. It takes a real artistic dentist to make porcelain veneers and crowns to look both natural and translucent. It is especially difficult when dealing with tetracycline stains. An amateur cosmetic dentist tends to make them too translucent because of trying to cover the  tetracycline stains, which are tricky.

However, the top 1-3% of cosmetic dentists can give you a gorgeous smile even with those difficult stains. What you need to do is find a dentist who is accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). Anyone who reaches the level of accreditation will be able to give you the smile you desired.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Switching dentists in the middle of treatment

I’ve been getting crowns placed on twelve teeth. I had decided between a prosthodontist and a cosmetic dentist for this procedure. I decided to go with the prosthodontist because I felt there would be more expertise with the technical aspects of it. I was very specific with him about what I wanted in the appearance of the teeth and he assured me he could do it. Unfortunately, that hasn’t been the case. I’ve already had him re-do the first set twice. They just don’t look natural. It looks like I’ve got a set of badly done dentures. I think I should have gone with the cosmetic dentist. Can I switch or is it too late?

Desi J.- Anaheim, CA


You can absolutely switch. Your dentist is under an ethical obligation to make sure the transition goes smoothly. The two dentist will need to get together to work out what needs to be done and what payments will need to be made to whom.

I understand your thinking behind getting a prosthodontist, however, they tend to be engineers and are not experienced with aesthetics. Getting a cosmetic dentist is a good step, but not everyone who calls themselves a cosmetic dentist is actually skilled in the artistry required to give you the type of smile you are looking for. You want to find an expert cosmetic dentist.  See if someone in your area is accredited by (not just a member of)  the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). If so, they will be completely qualified. If you can’t find one close enough to travel to, then look on the website. They list expert cosmetic dentists by state. You’ll also be safe with anyone listed on their website.

If you choose the right dentist, you will have beautful, natural looking porcelain crowns.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

My crowns make me speak funny

I had crowns put on almost all my front teeth. Now I say my S’s and Th’s funny. Do you know if this has to do with my crowns?

Deanna S. from Dallas, TX


I haven’t examined you, but it is possible the incisal edges of your upper front porcelain crowns were placed incorrectly. In order to properly pronounce  “s” sounds, your teeth need to come together and almost, but not quite touch. The “th” sound, your teeth need to come close together with your tongue lightly touching between the upper and lower teeth.

An expert cosmetic dentist will have received training on how the position, shape, and thickness of your teeth affect your speech.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Crowns Getting Darker

My daughter had crowns put on about five years ago. They’ve always been fine until this past year and they’ve started getting darker and darker. They are now darker than her surrounding natural teeth. We were under the impression that they would keep their same color. Do you know what is going on?

Brianna from Colorado


Yes, porcelain crowns should stay their same color. My guess is one of two things have happened. First, let me ask if when your daughter had her teeth cleaned about a year ago, did you notice if the hygienist used a power polishing tool called Prophy Jet?  It sprays a mixture of water and sodium bicarbonate on the teeth. Though it gets teeth nice and clean, it destroys the glaze on porcelain. Many dental hygienists don’t realize this. Some will even argue that they’ve used it on crowns before and the crowns looked great when they were done. That is true. The crowns will look fine at first, but the glaze is destroyed so they will start picking up stains.

A second thing that could have occured is a fluoride treatment with acidulated fluoride. Acidulated fluoride will etch the porcelain, and the effects will be similar to the damage with the Prophy Jet.

There isn’t a permanent repair for this, except to replace the crowns. However, your dentist can polish them to make them look better.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Cosmetic dentist

Dr. Randall Burba.

Mercury in dental crowns

Is there mercury in porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns?

Jannine from San Diego, CA


No, you don’t have to worry about mercury being found in porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. They do contain several other metals, including nickel, which is the metal that often leads to hypersensitivity in patients. Dr. Burba prefers all-porcelain crowns, so there will be no fear of metal reactions.

The place you find mercury in dental work is in silver (amalgam) fillings. In fact they are made mostly of mercury. You can get mercury-free white fillings though, so you won’t even have to worry about mercury there either.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Mercury-free dentist Dr. Randall Burba.

Porcelain crown keeps falling out

I’ve had a porcelain crown for about a year and it has fallen out several times already. My dentist re-cements them in for free, but I’m wondering if they should be doing this. It is very inconvenient having to keep going back for appointments, even when they are free.

Leslie S. – Georgia


No, porcelain crowns should not be falling out, especially as much as yours has. It sounds to me like your dentist does not know how to do the bonding, and is just cementing them in.  There is also some trick to the parallelism of preparing the tooth, but if they are bonded properly, there doesn’t need to be a lot of retention in the design.

Your dentist may not be familiar with the bonding procedure. If he’s not, don’t pressure him to do it. It would be in your best interest to pay another dentist with a lot of experience with bonding than to either keep wasting your time having him re-cement it, or  force him into doing a procedure he isn’t qualified to do and having bigger problems result from it.

This blog is brought to you by Boston cosmetic dentist Dr. Randall Burba.