porcelain crowns turning yellow

I had some porcelain crowns done about six months ago. When I first received them, they were beautiful. I loved how they looked. Unfortunately, they are already turning yellow. I don’t think it is anything I’m doing. I do drink one cup of tea in the mornings, but water the remainder of the day and I brush regularly. Do you know what’s going on? I thought they were supposed to be stain resistant.


Dear Elaine,

woman smiling with a dentist

Yes, porcelain is very stain resistant. That means, if you truly have porcelain crowns, something went wrong. I haven’t seen your crowns so it is hard for me to tell you exactly what happened. However, I can give you some possibilities.

If you see a general dentist who doesn’t do much cosmetic work, then it is possible the hygienist or the dentist did something to damage the glaze on your porcelain crowns. It’s been six months since the crowns were placed and that is about the time you would have gone in for a checkup and cleaning.

Some things which damage the porcelain include:

  • The hygienist using a power prophy jet during the cleaning process. This would feel fine at the end of your appointment, as well as look normal, but the glaze would be gone and you’d quickly begin to pick up stains regardless of how good your oral hygiene was.
  • Acidulated fluoride. Some dentists use this, but it will chemically eat away at your glaze.
  • If your dentist made any adjustments to the crown, he could have ground away some of the surfaces.

Get a Second Opinion from a Qualified Dentist

As I mentioned earlier, not all dentists are familiar with cosmetic work. Because of that, they may not even recognize what went wrong with your crowns.

I’m going to suggest you see an expert cosmetic dentist in order to get a knowledgeable second opinion. To find that level of expertise, I’d like you to go to the mynewsmile.com website. Any dentist they recommend, will have the knowledge you need to get to the bottom of what is going on with your crowns.

It’s important you follow some basic guidelines when getting a second opinion to make sure the dentist isn’t influenced in his or her decision. Dr. Hall has a post on porcelain crowns. In the last paragraph, he gives some tips on getting an unbiased second opinion.

This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.