Tooth whitening is a must-have dental procedure for many people, allowing them to smile with confidence. However, when you have dental implants, tooth whitening can be somewhat more complicated. Here are three must-know facts about tooth whitening for people who have single-tooth or multi-tooth implants.
1. Whitening Toothpastes Don't Work for Implants
For most people, whitening toothpastes are a great daily solution for keeping stains at bay. However, they do not work on dental implants. The same problem is true for whitening mouth rinses and strips that you can buy in the pharmacy for home use.
If you have dental implants and want to whiten your smile, the best option is to ask your dentist about professional whitening treatments. Dentists can use tools to scrape a tiny layer of stained material away from the surface of the dental implant crown, revealing the whiter material underneath. During the same procedure, they can use hydrogen peroxide to remove stains from your natural teeth, leaving both types of teeth exactly the same shade of white.
2. You Might Need New Dental Crowns
Depending on the size, material and shape of your dental implants, it is sometimes not possible to remove stains from them. In this case, the only option is to remove the crowns from the implants and replace them with new, whiter crowns. This process should not cause you any pain, as there is no need to dislodge the implant post, which is the part of the implant lodged in the gum.
New dental implant crowns can be costly, but many dentists offer payment plans that allow you to spread the cost over a long period. You can choose between porcelain crowns, which have a beautiful pearlescent appearance, or composite crowns, which have a more matte appearance but can be less expensive. Talk to your dentist to find out which type of dental implant crown is right for you.
3. You Can Prevent Dental Implant Stains
As with so many aspects of oral health, prevention is better than cure when it comes to stains on dental implants. To reduce the build-up of stains, try to limit your consumption of black tea, red wine and coffee. When you do indulge in these beverages, you can reduce their ability to stain your teeth and dental implants by swishing water around your mouth immediately after consuming them. It is also a good idea to quit smoking to preserve the whiteness of your smile and protect the health of both your teeth and your dental implants.