Tooth Whitening and Dental Implants: What You Need to Know

When you finally have the crowns fitted to your brand new dental implants, your teeth will look beautifully white and you'll have a smile to be proud of. Like natural teeth, however, implanted teeth can become discoloured over time. If this happens, it can be quite stressful, particularly if you've already gone through an ordeal with dental problems in the past.

But there's no need to worry because your implants can be brought back to their former sparkling condition with the right treatment. This is what you need to know about tooth whitening with dental implants:

What not to do

It's important to remember that implants are not the same as natural teeth, so some treatments just aren't suitable. Because of this, it's best to avoid home whitening treatments unless they've specifically been recommended by your dentist.

One of the common problems is that some teeth whitening products are abrasive, achieving their results by scraping at the teeth. Depending on what the artificial teeth are made of, this can be damaging, and you may end up needing expensive replacements. Some bleaching products or whitening strips also contain substances that can damage the materials of implants.

How implants can be whitened

The good news is that most implants are more resistant to discolouration than natural teeth are. In most cases, any change in colour will be caused by staining.

Stained implants can usually be brought back to an attractive shade by a simple polishing by a dentist. They can remove the stains that are clinging to the surface and you'll see an instant improvement.

The techniques used to whiten natural teeth, like laser whitening or bleaching gel, are not effective on implant crowns. However, it's very unlikely they would develop any staining that couldn't be removed with polishing. If they did, the only option would be to replace the crown completely.

Keeping your smile sparkling

While porcelain crowns are good at resisting stains, it's not impossible to discolour them, and other materials attract stains more easily. It's recommended that you avoid or limit things that can stain teeth, such as tea and coffee, smoking, and red wine. Be careful with your brushing and make sure you keep your teeth clean, especially if you regularly consume foods that are likely to cause stains.

Another problem that people sometimes find is that, because implants are more resistant to staining than natural teeth, a difference between the two can develop. If your natural teeth look particularly discoloured next to the crowns, they can still be whitened so they look the same again. However, this is not normally a problem as long as you're brushing properly and taking care with your diet.