Teeth whitening can lift years of discoloration to rejuvenate and dramatically enhance the smile's appearance. For those who have or are planning to undergo porcelain veneers treatment or the placement of tooth restorations, it is important to understand that these fabrications do not respond to whitening treatment. This is why Dr. Bruno Lemay recommends teeth whitening before restorations or veneers at his practice in Palm Springs, CA. Find out more as we take a closer look at teeth whitening before restorations or veneers.
Can Teeth with Restorations or Veneers Be Whitened?
No. Restorations, including crowns, dental bonding, and tooth-colored fillings, will not whiten with teeth whitening treatment. Undergoing teeth whitening after receiving a restoration or veneers can cause the natural teeth and restorations to appear noticeably different in color, a condition often called “technicolor teeth.”
Another thing to consider is that severe dental staining may be slightly visible through the veneers. Once the veneers are placed, whitening treatment will not be able reach the underlying teeth. In such circumstances, whitening the teeth is recommended before veneers treatment.
Why Should Teeth Be Whitened before Restorations?
Because restorations and veneers cannot be whitened with teeth whitening treatment, it is recommended that those who wish to brighten their smiles undergo teeth whitening treatment before having restorations or porcelain veneers placed. This way, the restorations or veneers may be color matched to the whitened teeth for even whitening results.
With that said, the natural teeth can discolor after restorations or veneers are placed. Those who have had veneers or other restorations for a number of years may notice that their restorations no longer match their natural teeth. Whitening the teeth to match the restorations does not guarantee even results and can lead to technicolor teeth. The best solution in such circumstances is to replace veneers or restorations along with whitening treatment.
Tips to Keep a Restored Smile Vibrant
Whitening treatment does not last forever. Because whitened teeth can discolor over time, it is important for those who have restorations or veneers to take extra precautions to reduce the risk of dental stains. By taking these simple steps, those with veneers or restorations may enjoy a beautiful smile for years to come.
- Avoid abrasive toothpastes: Abrasive, or gritty, toothpastes can scratch the porcelain or composite resin used to make veneers and restorations. These scratches can collect food debris or tartar, causing visible discoloration.
- Avoid drinking dark beverages: Although restorations and veneers rarely stain, the natural teeth surrounding them can. Avoiding dark beverages, like coffee, red wine, and black tea, that are known to stain the teeth can help prevent discoloration and keep the smile looking its best.
- Use a straw: Completely cutting out dark beverages isn't doable for most people. When drinking dark beverages, using a straw can help limit contact with the teeth and reduce the risk of staining.
- Avoid foods that stain: Just as some drinks can stain the teeth, there are foods that may stain as well. Avoiding foods that are known to stain, like tomato sauce and dark berries, can help prevent staining.
- Don't smoke: Smoking causes rapid, dark staining of the teeth and should be stopped to prevent discoloration (as well as protect overall health).
- Practice good oral hygiene habits: Finally, practicing good oral hygiene habits, including brushing at least twice a day, flossing, and seeing your dentist for regular cleanings and checkups, is one of the most effective ways to prevent dental staining and keep the smile healthy.
Schedule a Consultation
For answers to your questions about teeth whitening before restorations or veneers, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Lemay.