Can Crowns and Veneers Be Whitened?
Dental crowns are the most common restorative dental treatments used in the United States. As their name suggests, they sit over the top of teeth that have been severely decayed or broken, covering the natural tooth inside them and forming a strong, durable tooth-shaped shell over the top. Meanwhile, dental veneers are primarily cosmetic. These thin, porcelain shells are placed over the top of your natural teeth after some of the enamel is removed. They are used to cover imperfections, close gaps, and generally make your teeth look more uniform and restore your confidence in your smile.
Just like our natural teeth, any artificial restorations or improvements also need to be well looked after to keep them both in excellent condition and looking fantastic. This means brushing them twice a day using toothpaste and avoiding food, drink, and other products, like tobacco, which could potentially affect their color.
Why do crowns and veneers become stained?
While porcelain is largely stain-resistant and does not discolor as quickly or easily as natural tooth enamel, it’s not unusual for its initial brightness to fade over time. They may also become discolored, particularly if they’ve had prolonged exposure to things like coffee, red wine, or tobacco.
The health and condition of your gums can also impact the color of your restorations. As we get older, our gums recede, leaving the spots where the veneer meets the tooth exposed. This can cause brown lines on your teeth because the veneers are bonded in place, and the composite will be revealed.
Can crowns and veneers be whitened?
The consensus is that dental restorations do not respond well to traditional whitening treatments that involve the use of bleaching agents. However, this doesn’t mean that there isn’t anything that you can do to improve the color and appearance of your crowns or veneers.
The most obvious way to keep your restorations looking fabulous is to remove surface stains through proper brushing and flossing. You can purchase some types of ‘polishing’ toothpaste that are specifically designed to be slightly more abrasive, and this will help to break down and eliminate surface stains. The toothpaste should also remove the build-up of composite all-around your veneers which will enhance the color of your overall smile.
We also strongly recommend that you have professional dental cleaning appointments at least once or twice each year. This is where your dentist will use professional tools to perform an enhanced cleaning of your teeth, removing any food particles and areas of tartar (hardened plaque) to leave your smile in the cleanest possible condition.
Take care of your restorations to keep them looking fantastic
Prevention is always better than treatment, and your dentist should give you advice on how to take care of your restorations when you receive them. The best way to keep them in excellent condition and retain their appearance is to take care of them just as you would your natural teeth – through brushing and flossing, particularly after eating anything that may stain your teeth – and visiting your dentist regularly.
Worried about the appearance of your crowns or veneers? Speak to our friendly dental experts today.
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