The hallmark of good cosmetic dentistry is its invisibility. Sure, the work in question might be perfectly prominent, clearly seen each time you smile. However, the restoration should be seamless, meaning it's indistinguishable from the natural teeth on either side of it. Although dental crowns perfectly mimic natural teeth, they have different properties to your dental enamel and are typically made of porcelain. This might lead you to wonder—because teeth can stain and discolor over the years, how natural will your dental crown actually look in the future?
As part of the necessary preparation work for a dental crown, your dentist will perform a color matching. Your dentist has a color chart (somewhat similar to a paint chart), which holds examples of the shades of porcelain that can be utilized in dental crowns, arranged from lightest to darkest. Your teeth are compared to these samples, allowing your dentist to identify the precise color match.
Teeth Whitening Before Dental Crowns
This precise color match is determined by the current shade of your natural teeth. If you're considering whitening your teeth, this should happen before color matching, otherwise, the dental crown will be noticeably darker than your natural teeth. It's best to have your dentist perform this work too since the results are quicker and more predictable than any whitening that can be achieved at home, where the ultimate degree of whitening can't be quite so accurately anticipated. To avoid a color mismatch in the future, you must be prepared to maintain the new, lighter shade of your teeth. This means that whitening will need to be periodically performed by your dentist.
Teeth Whitening After Dental Crowns
If you weren't contemplating teeth whitening, then the current shade of your teeth will be the definitive guide for color matching. However, teeth can stain and discolor. It's a gradual process, but eventually, there can be a color mismatch because the dental crown will not discolor to the same degree as natural dental enamel. This might call for whitening treatment in the future to ensure your dental restoration remains seamless.
For the most natural-looking results, teeth whitening can be a very good idea when you need some type of restorative dentistry, otherwise, the color of your natural teeth can look noticeably different to your crown. It's all about making sure that both your natural teeth and teeth that have received restoration work are all the same shade of white. To learn more about teeth whitening, contact a dentist.