Can I Whiten Crowns or Capped Teeth?

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About Dr. Peter Zwier

For over 30 years, Dr. Peter J. Zwier has been providing a broad range of general and cosmetic dental services to Grand Rapids, meeting the needs of your whole family in one convenient location. Your oral health is extremely important to your body’s wellbeing, and a beautiful smile is a wonderful asset at any age.

Crowns are a great way to fix broken and decayed teeth. Unfortunately, crowns are not made from the same material that your teeth are. That means that the process for whitening them is different. Many people wonder if there is a way to brighten a crown after they have had dental work done to their teeth.

Understanding Crowns

A crown is made from porcelain or composite porcelain. A consultation with Dr. Zwier can help you decide whether you need a crown. If you do, we will take an impression of the tooth and then create a cap that will then be fitted to the top of the tooth. This crown is then bonded to the existing teeth. A crown is designed to last about seven years.

Your dentist should always make sure that the porcelain crown matches up with the actual color of your natural teeth. However, if your natural teeth begin to yellow or stain over time, the crown can actually appear whiter than the teeth around it. However, the crown will never yellow or stain. It will remain white for as long as you have it.

Whitening Your Crowns

You will find that tooth whiteners fall into three different categories:

Pastes and polishes

There are many whitening products and toothpastes that use abrasive materials to clean your teeth. They work in the same way a skin exfoliant does. They can help by scrubbing away the minor stains you get on your teeth from eating and drinking, but they will not change the color of the tooth enamel or whiten your teeth. However, since you will be removing surface stains, it can make the crown look cleaner and whiter.

OTC whitening products

There are a lot of whitening products that can be purchased over-the-counter from your local store. Most contain a whitening agent such as carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide, which works by bleaching the surface of the enamel. You can find these bleaching agents in many gels, whitening toothpastes, strips, or trays. Buying them over-the-counter allows you to use them in the privacy of your own house. You should be able to whiten your teeth a couple of shades if used regularly over time.

In-office treatment

If you are looking for more drastic results concerning the shade of your teeth, your dentist can provide an in-office whitening treatment to you. The dentist will apply a bleaching agent that is stronger than what you can find in stores. They will monitor the color of your teeth until you get to the shade you are happy with. Some people get their desired results in just one treatment. Your dentist can discuss with you the best course of action concerning your situation. He or she will explain the safest way to whiten your teeth.

Can a Tooth Crown be Whitened?

Whitening treatments will not affect the color of your crowns, according to the ADA. A crown will stay the same color as when the dentist placed it in your mouth. If your natural teeth begin to yellow or are getting stained, you may want to look into whitening those teeth to match your brighter crowns.

If you are wanting to whiten your teeth but have at least one crown, talk to Dr. Zwier. He will be able to provide you with your best option that will allow you to keep your crowns and natural teeth very white. You will be confident in your glowing smile in no time!