I’ve been really happy with the two dental implants I had done. It’s been five years ago now and I honestly feel like they look just like natural teeth. That said, I kind of wish my smile was whiter and I’m curious about options available with cosmetic dentistry. From what I have researched, it sounds like the dental implants won’t lighten. Is that right? This concerns me because both of the implants show when I smile. Is it possible to cover them with porcelain veneers? Or is there another way to fix the color?
-Abby in Utah
Dental implants or any other cosmetic dentistry made from porcelain will not lighten. The professional teeth whitening formulas are incredibly powerful, but they only work on natural living teeth. Porcelain is extremely resistant to staining, which is good. But once the color is set, the color cannot be changed. This is due to the fact that there are several layers made to mimic the natural translucency and opaque color that a natural tooth has. In some cases, the color of the crown can be changed, but that is usually changed to be darker.
You may be able to get away with it if the dental implants aren’t positioned right in front. Although, they won’t lighten from the teeth whitening agents, the further back a tooth is in the mouth, it is shadowed and appears darker. So you may be able to whiten your teeth and it may all end up okay. But if they are highly visible when you smile, you may end up having to replace the porcelain crowns that sit on top of the dental implants. You would have the cosmetic dentist perform the whitening first and then go back and have the crowns made to blend in perfectly.
Keep in mind, the entire dental implant will not need to be replaced. The posts that were surgically implanted are fine. It’s the crown or restorative portion of the implant that will need to be redone.
So, to answer your original question, you can get your teeth whitened with dental implants. How you go about it depends on where they are located.
This post is sponsored by Barrington cosmetic dentist James T. Gavrilos, DDS.