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Tooth Colour Crowns and Veneers

Tooth Colour for Crowns and Veneers - Dental Aware feature image

Once you’ve gone through a cosmetic procedure and chosen crowns or veneers, there’s always a chance your natural teeth can start discolouring.

If so, what can you do about the difference in your tooth colour?

The general rule of thumb is to try and prevent this happening in the first place – and that is by, whatever you do to the right side of your mouth, do the same to the left side.

Otherwise, if you put a crown or veneer on only one side or one tooth, your other teeth will age at a different rate.

You will see different stains on these teeth, where you won’t get any stains on your crowns or veneers.

If it’s already too late, and your natural teeth have already started to discolour, there is always the option of bleaching and keeping up a healthy diet and lifestyle.

In this article, we discuss why it is so important to be careful when it comes to your cosmetic procedures, how you can prevent any problems from happening initially, and how you can fix any problems that may have already occurred.

Dental crowns

What is the Rule of Thumb when it comes to a Cosmetic Procedure, and Why is it So Important?

Cosmetic dentistry is also often referred to as aesthetic dentistry – that is, being concerned with your smile appearance.

Aesthetically speaking, whenever it comes to a cosmetic procedure such as getting veneers or crowns, whatever you do to one side of your mouth, do the same to the other.

This will set up a balance in the aesthetic zone because your natural teeth will age at a different rate to those with crowns or veneers.

They will also get stains on them if you do not follow a healthy diet or lifestyle, whereas your crowns or veneers will not.

The detntal aesthetic zone

The aesthetic zone is important to patients

The procedure generally followed by your dentist when you are receiving cosmetic work is that they will recommend that you put your crowns or veneers on your first eight teeth – that is, the ones in the front that you see, or the four on each side in your top layer.

This is because they are the ones you see when you smile.

If you can’t afford all porcelain work, your dentist may be able to use composite or just keep bleaching the other teeth.

Red wine can stain your teeth

What are the Main Foods that Cause Stains?

You will have to watch your diet and your lifestyle, as there are many different foods and drinks that can stain your teeth.

12 types of foods and drinks you should avoid if you want to reduce staining to your teeth:

  1. Red wines – these are the worst, stay far, far away!
  2. Coffee
  3. Tea
  4. Sodas
  5. Sports drinks
  6. Food containing tannins, such as grapes, berries and pomegranates
  7. Tomato-based foods, including tomato sauce
  8. Curries
  9. Turmeric
  10. Soy sauce
  11. Balsamic vinegar
  12. Popsicles

Keeping a healthy diet and making changes to your lifestyle (for example, quitting bad habits such as smoking) can prevent tooth stains and ensure your smile remains in good condition.

Enjoy your favourite foods, but in moderation.

Drinking water helps your health

Try and drink water over any other beverages most of the time.

Ensure you keep up a good dental cleaning regime, including flossing and brushing within half an hour of eating, which will help remove any food particles before they can cause a stain.

Why Can’t I Change the Colour of my Crowns or Veneers?

Crowns and veneers are made from porcelain, which has the characteristic of a glass-like material, and you can never change the colour once you pick the shade.

Unlike your natural teeth, they also do not take in any intrinsic stain.

Consider them like a plate or a mug – as it is porcelain, whatever touches it will just slide straight off.

Therefore, the only real option, if there is any discolouration of your natural teeth, is to keep bleaching them to change their colour, so that eventually they match the colour of your crowns or veneers.

Teeth whitening before cosmetic treatments?

Should I Whiten my Natural Teeth Before or After I get my Cosmetic Procedure?

This really all depends on the colour of your natural teeth. Most of the time, your dentist will bleach your natural teeth first.

The procedure will generally begin with the bleaching of your lower teeth.

Then, your dentist will try and match that with your upper teeth, but they will usually always go a shade or two lighter – this is because you see your top teeth more when you smile.

With the whitening of the teeth before the cosmetic procedure, this means that, as long as you keep up a healthy diet and lifestyle, you shouldn’t have to deal with any issues as time goes by, as your teeth will continue to match the colour of your crowns or veneers.

Can I get Crowns or Veneers on my Front Teeth?

At times, it is both necessary and possible to place a crown on a front tooth – however, it does mean you have to remove 360 degrees off your existing tooth.

This is because it is a cap – it covers the entire surface of your natural tooth.

Because of this, they are generally only used for restoration purposes, such as if your tooth has a severe crack, is badly decayed, broken, or has been treated with a root canal.

Dental crown tooth preparation

Tooth preparation for a Crown – Trimming 360 degrees of the tooth structure for the crown or cap

It is also possible to get veneers on your front teeth, but the state of your original natural teeth will make a big difference to how much tooth needs to be removed before the work can be performed.

If your teeth are sloping inwards, you won’t need to remove much at all, and the cosmetic procedure is far easier.

However, if your teeth are sloping outwards, it not only depends on the position of your teeth but also your inclination – it can be much more of an aesthetic matter.

For example, if you have really crooked teeth, your dentist’s preference may be for you to have your teeth straightened prior to having veneers placed on – they may recommend you consult an orthodontist or even use Invisalign first to straighten your teeth so that not too much tooth structure has to be removed.

Invisalign mouth tray

An Invisalign mouth tray to straighten your teeth

If you don’t have a problem with your teeth remaining crooked after the veneers have been placed on, however, this is not an issue.

What Should I Look for in a Tooth Whitening Kit?

There is no one brand of tooth whitening kit that is recommended over the other – but there are ingredients within the kits that you must look for.

Ensure the kits contain hydrogen peroxide over hydrogen carbide as this ingredient does not work as well.

It is still suggested that, for a better job, you go to your dentist and get them to do the teeth whitening for you.

This is because the hydrogen peroxide they use in the dental surgery is far stronger than anything that you can buy in a tooth whitening kit.

Your dentist will have to block out all of your soft tissue such as your gums, tongue and lips, otherwise, the bleaching agent is so strong it could burn this soft tissue.

The hydrogen peroxide in the tooth whitening kit you buy and use yourself at home is not going to have a chance of burning your whole mouth like the one in the dental clinic, which will whiten your teeth far more effectively.

Conclusion

Many people choose to undergo aesthetic, or cosmetic dentistry, throughout their lifetime in order to improve their appearance and be happier with their smile.

If you choose to do so, you may find yourself receiving crowns or veneers, but along with these comes the risk that your natural teeth might start discolouring, and you may begin to notice a difference in the shades.

This can happen if you don’t keep up a healthy diet or lifestyle, or simply because your natural teeth are aging at a different rate, and the discolouration is becoming more and more noticeable because of where the crowns or veneers have been placed in your mouth.

In order to prevent this from happening, ensure that, when having the cosmetic procedure performed, whatever you do to the right side of your mouth, do the same to the left side.

That way you will be in balance aesthetically, and if you do happen to get any stains on your natural teeth (because you will never get any on your crowns or veneers), they will be far less noticeable and can be removed by teeth whitening, either at home or in the dental clinic.

Otherwise, if you keep up a healthy diet and lifestyle and avoid certain foods, especially red wine, and bad habits such as smoking, and ensure that you keep up a healthy dental cleaning regime, your teeth will continue to match the colour of your crowns or veneers and you should not have any issues – you will continue to maintain that bright smile!

Andrew Adams

By Andrew Adams

Created at May 13, 2019, Updated at May 28, 2021

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