Dental Implants: Pros and Cons

Teeth Whitening Tips for People With Dental Implants

by Brett Clark

Dental implants can fill in gaps in your smile if you have missing teeth. While they are an extremely useful solution for many people, they can make whitening your teeth a little more complicated. Here are a few things that you need to know about teeth whitening with dental implants.

1. Home whitening products don't work on dental implants

Most whitening toothpastes, mouth rinses and strips contain hydrogen peroxide, which is effective at removing stains from natural teeth. Unfortunately, hydrogen peroxide has little to no effect on dental implants, which means you could end up with a mismatch in colour if you use these products to tackle stains on your teeth.

2. Dentists can whiten dental implants

Although home whitening products are not effective, dentists can whiten dental implants as part of a professional whitening procedure. Simply let your dentist know that you have implants when you schedule the whitening treatment. The dentist can use special tools to remove a very thin layer from the implant and then polish the surface to a beautiful pearlescent white.

3. Crown replacement is sometimes necessary

Dental implants naturally resist staining when they are in perfect condition, but scratches in the crown make it possible for stains to build up. When a dentist polishes the crown as part of a whitening treatment, that is usually enough to remove shallow scratches and return the dental implants to their original stain-resistant state.

If a scratch is deep, it might not be possible to remove it simply by polishing the implant crown. In this case, a dentist can replace the crown by detaching it from the implant base and fitting a custom-made replacement that has been carefully designed to match the colour of your surrounding teeth. Unlike the original dental implant fitting process, this procedure is non-invasive, as it does not require replacement of the titanium post that supports the dental implant.

4. Preventing stains is the best solution

Although it is possible to whiten your teeth if you have dental implants, the best solution is to prevent stains from building up at all. The same foods and beverages that cause stains on natural teeth can also affect dental implants, so try to limit your consumption of coffee, red wine, black licorice, and black tea. If you choose to consume these stain-causing items, you can limit their effect by rinsing your mouth with water after you eat or drink.