Whitening Fake Teeth

I have two fake lateral incisors because my permanent lateral incisors were genetically missing. At the moment, I have a retainer with two fake teeth replacing my laterals,
however I am going to get dental implants within the next two years. I have quite yellow teeth and want to whiten them a bit. Do fake teeth whiten?

Thanks, Drew in Maryland

Dear Drew,

Sorry to say, but prosthetic teeth do not whiten. As a matter of fact, only natural teeth whiten, meaning teeth with porcelain veneers, porcelain crowns, or composite bonding will not whiten, including your teeth on your retainer. The tooth whitening agent has to come in contact with a live surface, like your natural tooth. Whitening agents allow the pores in the enamel to open and remain open reaching the dentin, which is the underlying material in the tooth. The oxygen in the whitening agent penetrates the dentin layer where more whitening takes place and makes it last. Teeth that have root canals with no porcelain crown on them will not whiten either unless your dentist preforms internal tooth bleaching. This is when a small hole is drilled behind the tooth and a whitening agent is placed within the tooth. This procedure can whiten the tooth, however may never get as white as the other teeth do and may still require some type of permanent dental restoration placed on the surface to match the other teeth.

We recommend that you bleach your teeth approximately one month before your porcelain crowns are placed on the dental implants. Doing so will enable the dentist to match your new crowns to your new tooth color. Now, if you do not want to wait two years to whiten your teeth, then whiten them now and have a new retainer made to match your new tooth color after your done bleaching. Of course, it may cost you several hundred dollars for a new retainer, however if your tooth color is hurting your self-esteem, then it may be worth the cost. If you elect to have them whitened now, make sure you touch up your smile and whiten again right before your crowns are made.

This post is sponsored by Phoenix dentist Arthur Chal Esthetic and Reconstructive Dentistry.

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