Can A1 color teeth on top look good with C1/D2 color teeth on the bottom?
- Last updated: 3 years ago
THE SUMMARY AND QUESTIONS: I have grayish teeth due to Tetracycline. I need much dental work on my top teeth and will be replacing all my top teeth with crowns. I like the A1 color but since I am only doing the top teeth I am wondering if this is common to do and if it produces results that look good or if most people that redo their top teeth (especially when there is a color change) also redo their bottom teeth.
I am not sure if my bottom teeth are more like a C1 or D2 color; they may be just slightly darker than C1/D2 but barely so. Can A1 on all the top teeth still look good in this case or am I better off just matching the color my bottom teeth? Below I wrote a few questions that might help me in making this decision and below that I have included even more detailed information.
How different are C1 and D2? Which would look lighter/whiter? How much difference is there between A1 and C1/D2? Would getting A1 crowns just on all my top teeth and leaving my bottom teeth as they are could look unnatural because of the contrast with my bottom teeth? My bottom teeth do not show when I smile, but they do show when I talk. My dentist and lab person seem to think that A1 is a fake/unnatural looking color to start with, which is what is making me question my decision to go with A1 on my top teeth. Is it common for people changing the color of their top teeth to also change the color of their bottom teeth, or is it known to be done that a person chooses to change only the color of the top teeth and not the bottom, and if have the end results been found to be satisfactory for those patients that do not improve their bottom teeth as well?
MORE DETAILED INFORMATION: I have grayish teeth from Tetracycline discoloration/high fevers when young. Because of this my teeth tend to be weak. I am basically need to replace and get new crowns in all my top teeth except for the front four. The thought came to mind that instead of paying so much money to match so many crowns to my ugly grayish color, why not also get veneers on my four front teeth so I can pick a more pleasant color. My dentist suggested crowns instead of veneers for my four front teeth suggesting this would help all top teeth to match better and also to make all my teeth stronger. Is this a good idea? The confusion came into place when we started to choose the color. First of all when I started looking at color charts I realized that my color teeth that I have always disliked are not as bad as many others. I don't drink coffee or smoke, so while my teeth are grayish, they are definitely not yellow at all. The suggestion was A2 and to me these looked very yellow compared to my teeth, so I asked to see A1 which while it does not completely match my teeth it matches much better than the more yellowish A2. Here is when my insecurity kicked in because my dentist told me that A1 is too light and would look fake and he said he would do it if that is what I want because it is a personal preference but that he would go with A2. I figured he is the expert so I went with A2 for my temporaries. They look awful and yellow (compared to how I am used to my teeth looking).
So, since I also need three crowns in the bottom but on farther back teeth I asked that we do these three first to see how they look in A1. Well, they came in and were put on, but I hated them too. I don't know to this day if they were the wrong color because they were not made at all like the tooth in the sample VITA chart that I was shown. These crowns were a solid and opaque color. There was not translucency or transition of color to a slight darker shade as the tooth approaches the root. So, in my opinion they would have looked unnatural no matter what color they were made. This made me even more confused!
I brought this up and asked why they did not look more like the ones I was shown as samples that seemed a little more clear/translucent and had a transition in color as it when down the length of the tooth. So they were temporarily cemented and a request was made from the lab to redo with a little more color towards the root. In the mean time I started researching and was a little surprised as I learnt about the various color options that I was only given the option to choose between shades A1 and A2. I found that the C shades are more grayish so I called and asked about this and asked that they wait on the new crowns until I can come in and look at this color sample. They suggested I go to the lab.
When I arrived at the lab to see what a C1 crown would look like, the new A1 crowns for my three bottom teeth were already made. When I first saw them I again did not like them. They basically looked the same but they had added some yellowish color from half of the crown towards the root. There was still no light or translucency – the crown was completely solid/opaque, allowing no light to pass through as would be the case with real teeth. None of this matter thought because as soon as the lab person saw my teeth he immediately said that A1 is not the color of my teeth and started insisting that my color is D2. I asked if I could see a C1 crown already made and a D2 crown to compare (the little samples start to all look the same to me after a while), but he had known. Again, I asked about how solid the crown he had made was as opposed to how real teeth look and the lab person explained that they do this for back teeth because they are not visible and that they be strong is most important, which makes lots of sense, yet does not help to give me a good idea of how a front tooth A1 crown would look. The lab person suggested I go with D2, insisting that this is the color of my teeth.
I asked about A1 one more time and he told me that A1 is a fake color and would not look natural, so I conceded and let him do the three bottom crowns in D2. When I saw them I did not like them. They look brownish (not even grayish as my teeth), but since they are going on the bottom back and will never be seen I just had them put on (with temporary cement for now) not to keep bothering this people so much with my indecision.
I still like the way the A1 teeth look as I have from the beginning (the dental assistant thinks that is a good color for me too) and if I was doing all my teeth it would be a none brainer, I would go with A1. However, since I am only doing the top teeth I have no way to know how the contrast will look with my bottom more grayish teeth (which are more of a C1 or D2 shade, maybe just slightly darker). Also, when faced with two professional experts, the dentist and lab owner, telling me that A1 does not match my teeth color and will look fake it makes me wonder that they may be correct since after all they have been doing this much longer than I have and have seen the final results in others I imagine. But this begs the following observation: If I wanted to simply match the color of my teeth, then I would not have paid for the four front teeth that did not need crowns to be done as well. I simply would have done the ones that required the crowns only. This whole process has been very confusing and frustrating to say the list. Could I start all over again, I would have instead researched a cosmetic dentist and taken that approach instead, as I am realizing that part of the issue here is that I came to a dentist for dental work and now we are trying to do cosmetic dentistry work. While this dentist (and lab) do some cosmetic dentistry, this is not their specialty, nor the bulk of their work.
So, in conclusion, I find myself with A2 temporary crowns in all my top teeth and very ambivalent at this point if to have them replaced with A1, C1, or D2 color crowns…. At this point I have $15k invested in this process. I am tempted to go to a cosmetic dentist for a second opinion, but not sure if one would do this half way through a treatment plan. Also, I feel like both this dentist and lab have already invested so much time in this that it would be almost rude to go elsewhere to finish the work at this time, yet I am not 100% confident that the results produced from this combination of professionals is going to be to my satisfaction and the money spent to achieve this is a lot of money for us. It is disappointing that no matter how many times I remind them that the main reason I am paying for four more crowns than needed is to be able to have a more pleasant smile/color teeth, yet they still only seem to focus on matching the color of my existing teeth. I am very open to any suggestions you may have. At this point my main questions are: 1. How different are C1 and D2? Which would look lighter/whiter? 2. How much difference is there between A1 and C1/D2? 3. Would getting A1 crowns just on all my top teeth and leaving my bottom teeth as they are could look unnatural because of the contrast with my bottom teeth? My bottom teeth do not show when I smile, but they do show when I talk. 4. Is it common for people changing the color of their top teeth to also change the color of their bottom teeth, or is it known to be done that a person chooses to change only the color of the top teeth and not the bottom, and if have the end results been found to be satisfactory for those patients that do not improve their bottom teeth as well? Thank you so much for getting through this super long message. I appreciate your time and attention and very much look forward to reading your response. If a photo would be helpful I will gladly upload a few. Thank you in advance.