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Is A1 Tooth Shade Too White?

Updated: Jan 25

The A1 tooth shade is NOT too white since it's a natural tooth color and there are also bleached teeth shades that are much whiter than it. However, the A1 color can be too white in certain situations but it depends on what your teeth naturally look like. Au contraire, the color can in fact be the perfect one for you in other instances.

Tooth shade A1
A1 vita shade

Table of contents:

A1 isn't the whitest shade

You can't outright say that the tooth color A1 is "too white" when it isn't even the whitest shade possible. The title for that belongs to the hollywood white shades which consist of the 0M1, 0M2, and 0M3 teeth shades.

A1 tooth color next to bleached shades 0M3, 0M2, 0M1
A1 tooth color vs bleached shades 0M3, 0M2, 0M1

The image above shows A1 compared to the three bleached shades. Objectively, it is the darkest tooth color when compared to them.

We want to make sure that you understand the difference in the level of whiteness between them so we made a video to show you the visual differences.

How white is A1?

The color A1 is actually the second whitest natural tooth color when compared to B1.

Below is an image that shows how white it is when it is compared to the other shades. It is certainly whiter than most of the other colors aside from the B1.

Tooth shade A1 in VITA shade guide

However, if we're going to get into the nitty gritty details of tooth shades, the A colored shades are technically a reddish-brownish color. The VITA classical shade guide instructions are provided below as evidence of what its color really is.

VITA shade guide instructions sheet

Yes, most people wouldn't really call it reddish-yellowish but if you look really carefully and you compare it to the rest of the A shades (A2, A3, A3.5, A4) you will see that tint of red and yellow.

A tooth shades - A1 A2 A3 A3.5 A4
A tooth shades - A1 A2 A3 A3.5 A4

The whitest or lightest color of the A shades would be A1 and it gets progressively darker as you go from A2, A3, A3.5 to A4.


When A1 is too white

We can list a couple of scenarios where A1 colored teeth can be perceived as "too white."

  • If you're doing a crown or veneer and the rest of your dentition is much darker than it.

  • If you're having a partial denture made and your natural teeth aren't that color.

  • If you're getting six front veneers done but the adjacent teeth are 2-3 shades darker.

All of the above scenarios relate to having dental restorations but you're choosing the shade A1 simply because it is the whitest. It's considered too white because the color literally doesn't match the rest of your teeth and that is a problem in itself.

In summary, when the color doesn't blend in seamlessly with the surrounding teeth in your mouth, it will be considered excessively white.

When A1 is perfect

We can also list a couple of situations where choosing A1 tooth shade may be perfect for you.

  • If you're getting a crown or veneer and your teeth are naturally the shade A1.

  • If you're doing 6 front veneers and the adjacent teeth are just 1 shade darker.

  • You whiten all of your teeth to the color A1.

In summary, when the color can blend in seamlessly with the surrounding dentition, it won't be considered excessively white. After all, it is a natural color for teeth.

Is it a good color?

It is our opinion that there is no good or bad tooth color. Every color exists for a reason and serves a purpose when needed. Whether or not the color is good for you depends on your mouth and your situation.

  • If A1 works for you then it is a good color for you.

  • If the color does not blend in with the rest of your teeth then it probably isn't a good color for you even if you don't want to believe it.

Ultimately the answer would be that it depends but just to be clear, A1 is definitely not a yellow tooth color. It is the second whitest shade out of all of the natural teeth colors. If we were to pick a shade that was yellow, we would say that A4 is really yellow.

a1 vs a4

As you can see in the photo above, I think we can agree that A4 would be what we would call having yellow teeth. Looks like smoker's teeth doesn't it?

If your teeth are that color you should highly consider teeth whitening at home and even consider professional in-office treatment such as with our dentists in Long Island city. That color is more yellow than average.



It's tough for us to say whether or not A1 is too white for you since we don't know what your teeth naturally look like.

  • If the rest of your teeth are that color then it's the right color for you.

  • If your dentition is darker than it then maybe it's too white for you.

Therefore the answer is that it depends on what your natural teeth look like. Sometimes you can make it work but other times it may be a stretch. Consult your dentist as to what shade you should go for if you're unsure.

David Chen 200 x 200.jpg

About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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