Do Ceramic Crowns Turn Yellow

Dental crowns are an increasingly popular and effective treatment in resolving many dental problems. Crowns have a variety of uses and can aid in protecting damaged teeth, restoring function, and concealing cosmetic flaws. While dental crowns are an excellent solution, they can begin to show signs of wear and discoloration over time. Various things can cause damage or discoloration. There are also treatment options for these issues.

A damaged crown can compromise the natural tooth below the crown. It is possible for the tooth to become infected or discolored from exposure to debris and plaque. In many cases, this is what causes a crown to be discolored or yellow. Unfortunately, this cannot be reversed with oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing.

Whitening optical illusions

When a crown is damaged, it is not always the culprit for discoloration. When patients complete teeth whitening treatment for the surrounding teeth, it can make the crown appear darker or yellower in comparison. Crowns which appear to be discolored following a tooth whitening treatment may simply be mismatched because of the change in color of the natural teeth.

Once the cause of the discoloration is determined, patients should work with their dentist to determine the best plan for treatment. The correct treatment will vary based on why the crown is discolored or yellow in its appearance.

Professional Cleaning

Many crowns are made of porcelain, but there are other materials which are more susceptible to staining and discoloration. While porcelain crowns are less likely to become discolored, it is still possible. The crown may have a tough surface stain which simply requires more attention than regular brushing. Highly acidic foods such as tomatoes, alcohol, or cigarettes can cause staining on crowns.

These tough stains may not be resolved with regular brushing and flossing, but they are typically superficial and can be treated with a professional cleaning at the dentist. Dental professionals have special tools which can be safe and effective in cleaning crowns and natural teeth. A professional cleaning can restore the natural, white color of the crown.

When a dental crown is new, it may turn yellow for various reasons which are summarized below.
It is possible for the crown’s surface to be damaged when the dentist is making adjustments. If the dentist needs to grind down the crown in order to properly fit, there is a potential that the glaze can be damaged. Another possibility is that the lab where the crown was created did not properly glaze the crown to begin with.

The crown may not be made from a ceramic material. It is possible that the crown is made from a composite material rather than ceramic or porcelain. Follow up with the dentist to request a copy of the lab certificate. This will state what materials were used to create the crown.
It is also possible for the crown to sustain damage during a professional cleaning. If a dental hygienist accidentally uses power cleaning instruments on a crown and then uses sodium bicarbonate, it can damage the glaze on the outer surface of the crown. Another possibility is if the hygienist uses an acidulated fluoride treatment. This can etch the glaze and result in discoloration.

Crowns are an expensive dental restoration and should last for 10-15 years or more. Porcelain is considered to be colorfast. This means that porcelain crowns should not turn yellow. Patients with a yellow or discolored crown should follow up with their dentist to determine the cause and discuss treatment options.

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