Are Lighter Shades of Porcelain Being Used for Now As Opposed to 20 Years Ago?

Have read that porcelain doesn't stain much, but in most of the pictures have noticed where old crowns have been replaced the new shade is significantly whiter. Is this due to lighter shades of porcelain being used now to keep up with the whitening fad, or did these old crowns actually stain that much?

Doctor Answers 13

White has New Meaning When Discussing Smiles

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Dentistry has come a long way baby.  Once upon a time, ugly mis-matched crowns were done because it was difficult to match exsisting dentistry.   We did the best we could-forget white, we were limited by the materials.   In the 80's, Esthetic Dentistry began- we could actually match teeth!  We were so proud we could match someones yellow tooth so it would not stick out.  Around the mid 90's, the whitening revolution started, because whitening worked!  We had been playing with it for awhile but finally were able to deliver a change.  Now, it is standard to make crowns and veneers white  as possible-It seems they can never be too white!!!  Porcelain does not stain unless it is broken or the margins leak.  We have changed what a Esthetic Smile looks like!!!

Bellevue Dentist

Porcelain for crowns has changed over the years

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Your porcelain crown has not changed much over the years. The technology of the porcelains of recent years have improved. The companies that manufacture porcelain have now come out with 1.bleach shades that look more like the "White White " colors that we get with bleached teeth at times. 2.The florescence in the porcelain has become more life like , and 3. The porcelains have become less abrasive to the opposing natural teeth. I hope this helps.

Zola A Makrauer, DMD
Philadelphia Dentist

Procelain colors ligher than now than 20 years ago

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We are in a world where everyone wants to have very light teeth.  I have patients who now want to go a light as a toilet bowl.  Porcelains are lighter than they were but also porcelain are also different then they were 20 years ago.

Porcelain shades on new dental crowns.

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You are absolutely right in saying that there is a tendency for people to choose lighter shades of porcelain today as opposed to 20 years ago.  This is in part being fed by the "Hollywood" bright smiles.  Porcelain is extremely stain resistant and stays the shade it is initially virtually for the lifetime of the restoration. 

Having said that the porcelain materials used to day are much more lifelike and less opaque than the materials used in the past, as well our knowledge of tooth color science has helped us in making today's restorations seem more like teeth and less like crowns.

Dan Hagi, DDS
Toronto Dentist

Porcelain shades

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Porcelain crowns are stain resistant.There are new light color versions of porcelain teeth called bleach color.

These shades are far more lighter than they used to be 20 years ago.

Antoaneta Barba, DDS
Santa Ana Dentist

Porcelain has changed over the years!

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Just like you said porcelain does not stain as easy as enamel does.Because the porcelain is translucent, much like a real tooth, porcelain veneers are extremely natural looking and blend in with surrounding teeth. In fact, they look so natural that many patients admit to forgetting they even have them, and simply notice a straight, beautiful, and natural smile! The variety of porcelains is unbelievable and only a cosmetic dentist  can offer you a full range of restorative and cosmetic procedures that can provide a seamless, white, stunning smile.Now a days a natural color or shade is into the "bleach shade guide" and its much lighter than the one available years ago.


Pamela Marzban, DDS
Fairfax Dentist

Does porcelain stain?

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Newer porcelain crowns could be whiter for a couple of reasons :

1) There is a tendency among the population to have whiter teeth, and people care more about their dental cosmetics than before and they whiten their teeth  and so the dentist matches the whiter teeth.

2) the qality of the porcelais used now has greatly improved, so they look much more life and real like.

Soheyla Marzvaan, DDS
Orange County Dentist

Crowns lighter today

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When a crown or veneer is placed in your mouth, it will not change color.  Teeth get darker over time and this will make it look like all of your teeth do not match.  The porcelain we have today is more like natural teeth and can be done without metal under the porcelain.  The new crowns are beautiful and blend with the teeth around it.  A crown should match when it is placed.  I have patients who will redo all of their crowns and or surround teeth at once so they will all match.  It is like redoing your tile floor a tile at a time.  It will not ever match


There are more shades used today

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Porcelain is a very non-porous material and therefore does not stain or discolour easily.  It will usually hold its colour very well over many years.  Older crowns were shaded in an effort to make them blend with the existing colour of a person's teeth.  Today, people generally want whiter teeth.  It helps us appear younger and in North America dark teeth look unattractive to most people.  When someone has to remake or make a crown, it is a good opportunity to improve the colour.  At this point people will whiten their remaining teeth and make the new crown match it, or they will consider a "smile lift" and place other esthetic crowns or veneers to create a more attractive smile.

If a person does not want to change the colour of their other teeth, it would be better to find a porcelain shade to match the existing teeth.  If a lighter shade is chosen, and the other teeth stay the same shade it would look very unnatural and obviously a crown.

Martin Frankel, DDS
Toronto Dentist

Newer porcelains are lighter in color.

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Old crowns are unchanged in color.  As demand for cosmetic dentistry has increased, people ask for whiter and whiter teeth, so the newer crowns and veneers are much lighter in color generally.

Michael Firouzian, DDS
Columbus Dentist

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.