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Gilberto Tostado E, DDS, MS, FICD, FPFA

Calle 2 y 3, Av 6 #255, Centro,
84200 Agua Prieta, Son., Mexico
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Getting the Shine and Color Back in My Dental Crown

I had a crown placed on a lateral incisor. It was fine for the first seven months. Now, it has lost its shine and has started to pick up stains. I was hoping to get it back the way it was. Will teeth whitening take care of the color and shine or will I need a separate procedure for each thing?

Callie Anne

Dear Callie Anne,

porcleian crown being placed.

I am sorry this happened to you. Unfortunately, teeth whitening will do neither of the things you are hoping for. It only works on natural tooth structure so it won’t do anything for your porcelain crown. What protects a dental crown from stains and also gives it that shine is the protective glaze placed on it. It sounds like something removed yours.

Given the timing you mentioned, that was enough time for you to have a dental cleaning. If you did, I suspect that your dental hygienist may have used something like a power prophy jet or acidulated fluoride during your appointment. The first will remove your glazing entirely. The second will etch it which could make it look more dull and cause it to pick up stains as well, just not as quickly.

If your hygienist did that, then I would say they need to bear the responsibility to replace your dental crown and the dentist will need to do some training with his staff on protecting dental work.

If that is not what happened, I would make sure you are not using anything like a whitening toothpaste. Almost all of these “whiten” your teeth by using an abrasive, which damages both the glazing on your crown as well as your natural tooth enamel. The only whitening toothpaste I know of that is safe for dental work is Supersmile toothpaste.

No matter what the cause, the solution would be to replace the dental crown. It’s only been seven months, so I do think the dentist should take this.

This blog is brought to you by Douglas, AZ Dentist Dr. Gilberto Tostado.