Dental Crowns for Teeth That Are Too Dark for Veneers?

My dentist wants me to have 10 dental crowns on my top teeth, the teeth that show when I smile. He says my teeth are naturally too dark to use porcelain veneers. I recently bleached my teeth for a month with reasonable lightening occuring. One of my two front teeth is dead and would definitely need a crown. Do you agree that crowns are the way to go in this situation?

Doctor Answers 7

Crowns vs Veneers

Placing crowns instead of veneers to mask darker teeth is not necessary.  A well trained dentist working in conjunction with a good lab should have no problems masking darker teeth with veneers without the unnecessary tooth removal for crowns.

Conservative treatment

Nope! your dentist don't  have it right ...Sorry

You can mask dark teeth with venneers very well if he or she uses a good dental laboratory 

The root canal tooth definitely needs a crown though

Will add some photos later

Laura Torrado, DDS
New York Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Crowns and Veneers for discolored teeth

There are new materials on the market that can mask a dark tooth with a veneer, for example E-Max.  It is beautiful, strong and could mask the color better than other materials.  If possible be as conservative as you can.  Perhaps some of the teeth could be veneered and the extremely discolored ones crowned to mask the darkness.

Cate Vieregger, DDS
Denver Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Always choose the most conservative method to achieve the desired result.

Veneers will very adequately block out a dark tooth and blend with the existing teeth. Crowns require much more tooth reduction over veneers. There may be other reasons to crown the tooth, such as a previous root canal, decay on the sides or back of the tooth or large fillings. 

Mickey Bernstein, DDS
Memphis Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

Veneers are the way to go!

I do it all the time and get great results. The key is to use a talented enough ceramist so you get a great result without the staining shining through.

Go with veneers

I would say you need to get a second opinion. A crown is used to restore lost tooth structure or reinforce a damaged tooth to keep it from damaging further. If the tooth is healthy and doesn't need reinforcing, I always go with a veneer to fix stain. The thinner the veneer the healthier the tooth will be.

I have masked severe tetracycline stained teeth with as little as 0.7mm of porcelain. It can be done, but the dentist and the team need to understand the materials. The "dead tooth" may or may not benefit from a crown. Because of the amount of reduction required for a crown, I would often still recomend a veneer.

M. Andrew Atwood, DDS
Bellevue Dentist
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Veneers should be fine

It is very common to do veneers on dark teeth. There are many techniques for masking out dark teeth, including opaque veneer material, blocking out tooth structure before veneers are placed, etc. It is likely that your dentist is not familiar with some of the methods or materials available. If this were MY situation, I would NOT be doing crowns, I would insist on veneers.  If your dentist says it won't work, seek a second opinion.

Dark teeth are one of the main reasons I place veneers, as do many others.

Lance Timmerman, DMD, MAGD
Seattle Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.