Is A1 Tooth Shade Too White?

Written & Reviewed by Dr David Chen

The A1 tooth shade is NOT too white in the absolute sense because there are 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

We will explain what all of that means!

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 and there is no room for debate.

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.

Video comparison

How white is A1?

The color A1 is actually the second whitest natural tooth color, right behind B1 which is first.

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 bleaching your teeth at home and even consider professional in-office treatment. 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.


1311 Jackson Ave
Long Island City, NY 11101

Email Us


Dental Services

If you're in NYC and in need of a dentist, our clinical dental practice, 1311 Jackson Ave Dental is accepting new patients.

Our purpose at afterva, is to encourage you to seek in person care with a doctor. It's not meant to be a substitute for medical advice.

A lot of nuances cannot be detected without an in-person clinical exam, which means it is near impossible to diagnose and treat virtually.

sitemap | privacy policy