For many people, tooth discoloration is the primary oral issue that prevents them from smiling and speaking with confidence. There are many treatment options for a smile makeover, but few offer the instant and dramatic results that teeth whitening can provide. Professional teeth whitening can take years off of your smile and remove unsightly stains,…
Can You Have Teeth Bleaching If You Have Crowns?
Teeth bleaching is popular because a white and beautiful smile is something many people want. The procedure is available in different forms — from in-office treatments to strips and gels — to remove stains from the teeth. However, what happens if you have dental crowns? If you are looking to whiten your teeth, you might want to talk to your dentist prior to moving forward.
Dental crowns and teeth bleaching
A dental crown is a dental restoration produced from porcelain or metal alloy and which covers the entire tooth. It is usually used to strengthen or protect the tooth after it has suffered damage or undergone a root canal. If a tooth is lost, the dentist can replace it with a dental implant and affix a dental crown to it. To fit the dental crown, the dentist will reduce the size of the original tooth so that the crown can fit over the top. Impressions of the tooth will be taken and sent to a dental lab that will produce the crown.
The materials used for making dental crowns are strong and designed to be resistant to discoloration. When placing the crown, the color is matched to the color of existing natural teeth to make the smile look natural. This is both an advantage and a disadvantage.
Due to the nature of the material, dental crowns do not respond to the chemicals used for teeth bleaching. The whitening agent cannot work on the stains that may build up on the restoration. Therefore, if someone proceeds with teeth bleaching, their natural teeth may look whiter than the dental crowns, causing an uneven appearance.
Also, bleaching can damage the crown, especially if it is old or the surrounding teeth have suffered decay. The patient may experience gum irritation, sensitivity and a burning sensation.
This is one of the reasons dentists recommend undergoing teeth bleaching before getting dental crowns. The dentist will be able to match the shade of the dental restoration to the whiteness of the natural teeth. Therefore, if the patient opts to whiten their teeth in the future, the crowns and the teeth will probably continue to match.
How to proceed with teeth bleaching
Fortunately, patients can still whiten their teeth if they did not do so before getting dental crowns. The first step is to meet with a dentist to discuss available options. There is usually no need to replace restorations on the back teeth (molars) after teeth whitening.
However, they may need to change the dental crowns to match the newly whitened teeth. The dentist will whiten the smile to the shade preferred by the patient and design new dental crowns after the process. The new dental crowns will be matched to make the smile look even and natural.
Patients must remember that their natural teeth will start to discolor with time. Therefore, it is advisable to maintain proper oral care and visit the dentist regularly for touch-up whitening treatment. Patients can undergo teeth bleaching after a professional cleaning. Failure to do this will make the crowns whiter than the natural teeth.
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