541 N Donnelly St,
Mt. Dora, FL 32757
Image of woman smiling

Can You Overwhiten Your Teeth?


Can You Overwhiten Your Teeth?

Posted by writeradmin

I am worried I may have done something that could damage my teeth. My dentist doesn’t do cosmetic work. He thinks it encourages vanity. However, he’s been our family’s dentist since I was a toddler and I feel loyal to him. I did want my teeth whitened, despite the fact that it might encourage vanity, so I went to another dentist for the whitening procedure. I did keep up my general appointments with my dentist, but continued to whiten my teeth doing touchups every year. A month ago, I ended up needing a dental crown. Of course, I went to my general dentist about it. He done all the usual work. I’d had a crown on a back tooth previously so knew the drill. However, this was on a tooth that is visible when I smile. My dentist gave me the whitest color possible, but it still doesn’t match my teeth. The reason he gave was that I’ve whitened my teeth beyond what can be made for dental crowns. Is this possible? Have I done damage to my teeth?


Dear Aggie,

You mentioned that your dentist does not do any cosmetic work. That would not be a problem for most of his patients, but you are probably a bit more sophisticated. Despite your dentist’s assumption that cosmetic work encourages vanity, it is simply a way to help people gain confidence in their smile in a world that judges us on such things. In fact, having a white smile can actually give you a leg up in a job interview to someone who’s left the years of stains to remain. This is because the whiter teeth make you look younger.

Old Vita Shade Guide

Because he doesn’t do cosmetic dentistry, he probably only uses the old shade guide when attempting to match crown colors to teeth. I’ve pasted the old shade guide directly above. You can see that even the lightest color would not come close to today’s teeth which are much whiter than they were in the past.

Once teeth whitening took off, in the 1990s, dentists started having a hard time matching teeth with the old shade guide. As a result, the companies that put out the shade guides added an extension in order to help dentist’s match the new shades. I have an image of that directly below.

Updated Vita Shade Guide

My suggestion to you is to have the dentist who does your teeth whitening do your dental crown. He will be more up to date about the tools for his field. You can still go to your other dentist for the absolute basics.

This blog is brought to you by Mt. Dora Dentist Dr. Michelle Stillman.