I have 15-year-old dental implants on my four center front teeth and the crowns on them are not as white as I want. I wasn’t expecting them to turn this fast. The crowns are noticeable because they are darker than my natural teeth. What do you recommend for whitening them? Thanks, Darren
Neither you nor a dentist can whiten your implant crowns because they are colorfast. The crowns need to be replaced.
Although some companies promote whitening crowns by placing porcelain veneers over them, the process is costly. The cost of a porcelain crown and a porcelain veneer are similar, so it makes sense to replace the crown.
Why It’s Not Worth It to Veneer Old Implant Crowns
- Decay or leakage – As dental crowns age, there is an increased risk of decay or leakage beneath them. It’s to your advantage for a cosmetic dentist to remove the crowns and check beneath them for stain or decay. The dentist can also check around the dental implant sites to ensure they are still stable and healthy.
- Difficulty with the bonding technique – Bonding a new porcelain veneer onto an old implant crown isn’t easy. It’s difficult to get a firm bond, and it doesn’t last long—perhaps another five years.
- Age of your crowns – If you had the implant crowns for 15 years and they are discoloring, it’s not worth it to try to patch them up. You’ll spend a lot of money to have veneers bonded to them when they really need to be replaced.
Advanced cosmetic dentists work with a master ceramist to craft natural-looking crowns. Find an accredited cosmetic to replace your crowns and ensure they match your surrounding teeth. But before you receive crowns, ensure your natural teeth are as white as you want them. If you want to brighten your entire smile, complete whitening treatment first. Your dentist will provide crowns to match your white smile. Don’t waste time and money trying to salvage old, discolored dental implant crowns.
Accredited cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek of Lowell, MA sponsors this post.