After getting dental crowns, some people wonder if they can get them whitened just like natural teeth. The thing is, your artificial teeth can’t be whitened. That is because they aren’t actually teeth; they are teeth-coloured materials.
The other thing you need to understand here is that you don’t even need to get your teeth whitened. But then, why do people ask this question?
Can You Whiten A Dental Crown?
Most dental crowns are made of porcelain, metal or zirconia, and these materials are non-porous, so they can trap stain particles. Crowns do not change colour, so they don’t need to be whitened.
Your natural teeth, on the other hand, have tiny pores on their surface. This allows the staining particles to seep deep into them and change their colour. When you get your teeth whitened, the chemicals hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide break down the stains and lighten the colour.
However, since no such stains are present on your dental crowns, teeth whitening will have no effect on their actual colour. The chemicals can’t even penetrate these dental restorations because they have no pores in them.
This means that your dental crown will retain its original colour. You should be mindful of this when you’re choosing the colour of your crown. Because later on, no matter what kind of teeth whitening treatment you try, nothing will change their colour.
Why Is Your Dental Crown Looking Discoloured?
Despite the fact that dental crowns do not stain, some people complain about their artificial teeth getting yellow. It may be because of the following reasons:
Whitening of Natural Teeth
Many people find that their crowns look yellow after a teeth whitening treatment. It occurs because the whiter teeth around the crown create a contrast. The shades of white simply don’t match anymore.
What really happens is that in order to match the colour of their natural teeth with the crown, people end up bleaching their teeth a little too much. They would expect that the crown would be whitened along with the natural teeth, but that doesn’t happen. So, the crown ends up standing out, looking yellower than ever.
Keep in mind the chemicals used in teeth whitening gels, strips, pens, or trays don’t really affect the surface of the crowns. They won’t get damaged. So, the yellow colour is not because of any harm to the crowns. It’s only because of the change in the colour of the surrounding teeth.
As soon as the colour of your natural teeth matches the dental crown, you should stop using the at-home teeth whitening system. They work slowly, so you can control the kind of results you can achieve from them.
Material Of Crown
Composite resin is also used to make artificial teeth because it is cheaper. However, the problem with composite is that it is porous. In fact, it is more porous than the enamel of the natural tooth, so it will end up absorbing stains even more easily.
Foods such as red wine, tea, coffee, tomatoes, and cigarette smoke can all stain composite crowns. So, if you have these, your crown might look far yellower than the surrounding teeth.
Tooth Under Crown Turning Black
An original tooth, even with a dental crown, can still suffer damage. Many people get dental crowns after a root canal (because a large portion of the original tooth structure is damaged). If the bacteria aren’t completely removed during the root canal, your tooth can continue to decay and turn black.
In this case, the underlying tooth can affect the colour of the crown (even though its original colour is still the same). There are other scenarios in which tooth decay can occur. For instance, if your crown is cracked or has become loose, bacteria can seep through the space and damage the original tooth.
That, too, can change the colour of the tooth underneath the crown. There can also be other problems with your teeth, so you should make sure to consult a dentist.
What To Do If the Colour Of Dental Crown Doesn’t Match Natural Teeth?
If your dental crown is looking yellow or too white, your dentist might recommend one or more of the following treatments:
Replace The Crown
If the shade of the crown doesn’t match the surrounding teeth, you can always consider getting it replaced. You can get even whiter crowns so that the colour of your teeth is homogeneous.
Whiten Your Natural Teeth
Usually, what happens is that the dental crown looks much whiter than the natural teeth. This can affect the aesthetics of the smile.
So, what you can do is whiten all the natural teeth. This will help the crown blend in with the surrounding teeth, and it won’t stand out anymore. But keep in mind that you should not whiten the teeth too much because then the crown will end up looking yellow.
If you’re only getting dental crowns but plan to have your teeth whitened in the future, make sure to let your dentist know about this. This is because then the dentist can recommend a shade of crown that will match the colour of your teeth in the future.
How Can You Prevent Your Crown From Looking Too White?
To make sure that the colour of the crown doesn’t stand out too much from the rest of the teeth, you can consider doing the following:
Get Preemptive Teeth Whitening
Before you even have the dental crowns fitted, you should consider getting a teeth whitening treatment. This way, the colour of your natural teeth will already match the crown. You can also get the whitest shade of crown without having any cosmetic concerns.
You might have to wait a few days after getting your teeth bleached because of some temporary side effects. However, eventually, you can get the crown fitted without experiencing any problems.
Carefully Choose the Dental Crown Material
The only reason for choosing composite crowns is the price. But you should take into account the fact that these are not durable. Not only do composite crowns stain easily, but they also break easily.
Investing in composite crowns will end up costing you far more in the long run. That’s why you should consider choosing crowns made of porcelain or zirconia. These materials look like natural teeth and last anywhere between 10-15 years.
It’s not possible to whiten a dental crown because they are usually made of non-porous, stainless materials. No stain particles will get stuck on them. So, they will always retain their original shade of white.
However, if your crown looks yellower to you because the surrounding teeth are too white, you cannot get the crown just as white. In that case, you will have to get the crown replaced. And to make sure that your teeth are evenly coloured after you get a crown, consider getting all your teeth whitened first.