How much of a risk is replacing old crowns?

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champ

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I have really old dental crowns (some going on 40 years!!!) from my bicuspids back. I know the molars don't really matter, but I've been really self-conscious (for 40 years) about smiling widely because my bicuspids show and they look just awful. Plus, they're all different shades, and they're not really the shape of a natural tooth.
I asked my current dentist 6 months ago about getting new ones. He said because my old dentist put them on very well, they're holding up great, and he doesn't want to risk traumatizing the teeth. But I'm really traumatized every day by how they look. How much of a risk is it to replace old crowns? Is it really possible to get crowns that look natural or would I be taking the risk for nothing? I feel like if I could get crowns that look okay, I could get my life back from thinking about them all the time and feel comfortable about smiling and talking. Thank you.
 
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Gordon

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Answering this would be easier if I could see your old crowns, but purely generally speaking...
There's always a slight risk with re-doing old crowns, you don't know what you're going to find underneath and they can be masking some horrors :) But having said that, it's not normally that bad, so it's worth another discussion with your dentist about it.
 
Dr. Daniel

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Hi,

if you find the crown to be an esthetic issue, that is a good enough reason to have them replaced. I do recommend asking a friend who’s opinion you value to ask whether it is indeed an esthetic issue or not.
regarding possible complications: if the dentist examines the tooth well, I think it should be ok. An experienced dentist should be able to deal with removing a crown and making at least a temporary one.
 
C

champ

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Answering this would be easier if I could see your old crowns, but purely generally speaking...
There's always a slight risk with re-doing old crowns, you don't know what you're going to find underneath and they can be masking some horrors :) But having said that, it's not normally that bad, so it's worth another discussion with your dentist about it.


Hi, here is a pic.

[photo removed]
 
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Dr. Daniel

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Hi, here is a pic.
I would consider bleaching the teeth without touching the crown. This way your natural teeth will resemble more the color of the crown.
 
C

champ

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I would consider bleaching the teeth without touching the crown. This way your natural teeth will resemble more the color of the crown.

Thank you! Do new crowns look more natural that these old PFMs? (The "newest" is from more than 25 years ago.)

I never see anyone whose teeth/crowns look like these and it freaks me out. I feel so embarrassed in company or public.

Also, I have a relative who has beautiful dentures. You would never know they're not really teeth. They just look like very lovely, real teeth. Why can they do that with dentures but not crowns?

I may have to have a front one crowned someday, and that scares me all the time.

Thank you.
 
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C

champ

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Also, the crowns don't match either. Some are white, some are yellow, a couple are lemon yellow. (!) It's awful. So won't I just have the same problem after bleaching?
 
Dr. Daniel

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I suggest you ask your dentist whether a bleaching is a good option for you.
 
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champ

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At least if someday the crowns fail (they've been on for decades) if I get all-porcelain ones, would they look a lot better?
 
Dr. Daniel

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At least if someday the crowns fail (they've been on for decades) if I get all-porcelain ones, would they look a lot better?
I believe so
 
Gordon

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Sorry the photo seems to have disappeared. Looks like Dr Daniel has covered this already.

Of course crowns can be made to look like natural teeth. Depends on the skill and talent of the person making the crowns and the dentist's skill at matching shades.
 
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Hi, here is the photo again.
1625501125816.png
 
Gordon

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Thanks for reposting it.

I agree with Dr Daniel, bleaching your teeth I think would give a pretty nice result here.

Bear in mind that natural teeth are most emphatically not all identically the same shade, so a little bit of variation between them will look more natural than having them all the same.
 
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Thanks for reposting it.

I agree with Dr Daniel, bleaching your teeth I think would give a pretty nice result here.

Bear in mind that natural teeth are most emphatically not all identically the same shade, so a little bit of variation between them will look more natural than having them all the same.

Bleaching won't make the yellow crowns look even yellower?

Thank you so much (and Dr. Daniel, too) for taking the time to answer.
 
Gordon

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I don't think they look particularly yellow from that photo, but it's tricky to say, too much variation between monitors/cameras etc. You'd want to have your front teeth a bit lighter anyway if you're going to whiten the back ones though would you not?
 
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I don't think they look particularly yellow from that photo, but it's tricky to say, too much variation between monitors/cameras etc. You'd want to have your front teeth a bit lighter anyway if you're going to whiten the back ones though would you not?

The back ones are all crowns, except one all the way back (12 year molar????). :(
 
Gordon

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The back ones are all crowns, except one all the way back (12 year molar????). :(

Yes, I know.

Photo is out of focus Let's Connect :)
 
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champ

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Crowns can't be whitened with in-house whitening, yes? Only by getting new ones? (Thanks again.)
I didn't know if you meant you knew the back ones were crowns or about the 12-year-molar. (Which of course you do.) :)
 
Gordon

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Depends, sometimes they pick up some staining on the porcelain which will bleach out. Looking at the photo, the reason the crowns stand out is because they're a lighter shade than the front teeth. If you lightened the front teeth that would probably even things out a fair bit.
 
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