Getting a dental implant is a great way to improve your smile and maintain the health and function of your teeth. But if you are considering whitening your teeth as well, you may wonder how that will affect your implant.
Keep reading to learn more about teeth whitening when you have a dental implant. And remember, we can help you come up with a whitening plan if you choose to brighten your smile with professional whitening treatments.
The good news is that tooth whitening treatments will not damage your dental implant. This is because all of the materials used in dental implants are extremely strong and durable. The crown (or visible portion of your implant) is made of porcelain or another similar material. These materials are chosen not only because they resemble the natural look and feel of teeth but because they are extremely strong.
As a result, dental implants can withstand the wear and tear of chewing your food, brushing your teeth, and even the acidity of foods we eat. This toughness means that the materials used for dental implants will hold up to even the strongest whitening measures.
Implants are not only strong, they are also extremely stain resistant. But they also resist whitening. Teeth whitening procedures create a reaction that breaks apart the stain, restoring the tooth’s natural, whiter color. Crowns do not have any stains to be broken down; they are simply made one color and stay that color.
If you do have your teeth whitened after getting an implant and your implant no longer matches your other brighter, whiter teeth, it probably will not be noticeable if the implant is farther back in your mouth. Most of our teeth are not actually visible when we smile. And teeth that are farther back and only partially visible tend to appear darker than our front teeth.
Consider that patients who get veneers typically only get them on their front 4-6 teeth. Since the rest of the teeth are not as visible, it is usually not worth the expense to place veneers on these teeth. The same is true of whitening with an implant. Unless the implant is on a prominent front tooth, you probably will not be able to notice if it is a darker shade.
If, however, your implant is on a visible tooth and you wish to whiten your whole smile, you have the option of partially replacing it. The good news is there is no need to replace your entire implant. Instead, you can replace just the crown while leaving the rest of the implant intact.
Just like tooth whitening will not affect the color of your implant, foods and drinks will not alter its color either. However, we know that certain foods do cause discoloration of natural teeth. The best way to keep your implant and natural teeth blending seamlessly together is to protect your natural teeth from staining.
One of the worst causes of tooth discoloration is smoking, so you can add that to the long list of reasons not to smoke. Wine, coffee, tea, and brightly colored foods can all contribute to stains. Brushing twice a day for two full minutes is essential to minimize stains. In addition, after indulging in foods that may cause stains, make sure to swish water around your mouth to help remove pigments from the surfaces of your teeth.
If your implant is older and seems whiter than your natural teeth, whitening may be a great choice. If, on the other hand, you would like to whiten but are afraid your crown will be noticeably darker, you may still have options. Either way, seeking a professional opinion on teeth whitening and implant care is always your best course of action.
Talk to our office about your whitening options so we can help you develop the best plan for your whiter smile.