I’m wondering if you can tell me why my dentist might be against doing teeth whitening before filling my cavities. I want my teeth whitened for a family reunion / cruise. My dentist does in-office whitening but he wants me to have cavities filled first. The whitening is my priority because the reunion is in 3 weeks. I thought that I should get my teeth whitened first and fillings after to match. I’m confused. I asked him about his reasoning, but he pretty much said he prefers to do it that way. Before I go back to my dentist, I want to be sure that I understand the right order to get the work done. Which should be done first teeth whitening or fillings? And why would my dentist ask me to get the cavities filled first? Thanks. Nikki
Nikki – We’re not sure why your dentist is asking you to have your cavities filled first. Your teeth can be whitened first, but whether or not they should be depends on the condition of your teeth and the extent of your cavities. We’ll explain some factors for you to consider.
- Prescription-strength teeth whitening can cause sensitivity in teeth. If you have untreated tooth decay, the bleaching gel can affect tooth nerves and cause much discomfort.
- Some experts say that bleaching gel can irritate decayed teeth or make cavities worse and weaken your teeth.
- If your teeth are whitened after cavities are filled, the fillings will be darker than your teeth. But this probably won’t be noticeable—particularly because cavities are usually placed on the biting surfaces of your teeth. Composite fillings are tooth colored and less noticeable anyway.
If you want your fillings to match your whitened teeth, ask your dentist again if whitening can be completed first. You can also try again to ask for an explanation as to why he prefers to fill your cavities first. The reason will likely make sense.
Additionally, you can consider getting a second opinion from a cosmetic dentist.
This post is sponsored by Lowell cosmetic dentist Dr. Michael Szarek.