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Getting crowns & Veneers to Match

Can you tell me how difficult it is to get a crown to match your porcelain veneers? I have several porcelain veneers but one tooth that needs a crown. I love my dentist but when he did this crown, it is whiter than my veneers. That actually surprised me because the stub underneath it is pretty dark. Before this, I was worried about the opposite problem. Is this a problem with the lab? Can it be fixed?


Dear Mary Ellen,

It is possible to match a crown to porcelain veneers exactly; however, it takes an expert cosmetic dentist to do so. There is not much emphasis on cosmetic work in dental school. Truthfully, if a dentist wants to know how to do it well, they have to invest a lot of time and money in post-doctoral training. It takes years. Your dentist may be trying to do that, but it looks like he isn’t quite there yet.

This is a tricky thing to do, especially when the underlying tooth is darker than the rest of them, but it can be done. It sounds like he overcompensated knowing he would need to put some extra effort into that tooth. What he may not have factored in is the difference in thickness between a porcelain veneer and a porcelain crown.

You didn’t mention if you were given the opportunity to approve this crown before it was permanently bonded on. Typically, a dentist should put on dental work with a temporary try-in paste and allow you to look at it in several types of lighting to make sure you are happy with the results before bonding it on.

If your dentist did not do that, I would simply ask him to re-do the crown making it a bit lighter and then let you approve it first. If he can’t get the color to match, you could always go to a more advanced cosmetic dentist. You have a right to have your dental work match.

The best cosmetic dentists are AACD accredited. If you need to switch dentists for this procedure, that is who I would go to. They have proven skill and artistry and have trained for years to do this with excellence.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.