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What Are Your Dental Whitening Options If You Already Have Crowns Or Veneers?

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If you've already made the investment in dental crowns or veneers to help improve the appearance of your smile, you may be dismayed when continued use of coffee, tea, or soda begins to discolor the surface of your teeth. However, the porcelain or ceramic from which veneers are crafted often aren't well-suited to most dental whitening treatments used on your natural teeth. What are your whitening options if your discolored teeth aren't your own? Read on to learn more about the whitening process when it comes to crowns and veneers, as well as some situations in which replacement may be a better option. 

Can you have your teeth whitened if they are crowns or veneers? 

Most crowns and veneers are available in a wide range of colors, helping them blend in seamlessly with the surrounding natural teeth. As a result, it's nearly impossible to achieve a whiter color than your veneers were when first placed -- which is why it's important to whiten your surrounding teeth before the veneers are placed. However, whitening your veneers after they've become significantly discolored following placement is achievable in some cases.

If your veneers have been subjected to primarily surface stains, they can usually be treated through laser whitening or even the use of a whitening toothpaste containing baking soda. This will help remove these stains from the top few layers of the porcelain or ceramic without weakening or damaging the teeth and making them more vulnerable to future staining. If you have no plans to quit your coffee or soda habit, you may want to include a mild whitening treatment along with your twice-annual checkups to keep your veneers as white as the day they were placed.

Is it ever worth replacing a discolored crown or veneer? 

Treating deep stains in a porcelain crown or veneer can be a difficult process, and may not be achievable without causing significant damage to the veneers and reducing their expected lifespan. If your veneers are stained enough to make you self-conscious, you may instead want to investigate replacement. Having your veneers or crowns replaced is often less expensive than having them placed the first time, as your teeth have already been drilled into the proper shape. The process will simply consist of dissolving the glue holding your original veneer on, having a new veneer shaped and sized, and affixing this new veneer to your tooth with dental cement. Click here for more information on cosmetic dentistry.