Can crowns be whitened?

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I have front teeth crowns that I have had since a childhood accident. As I get older, I feel like the color is getting farther and farther from white. Is it possible to get these front teeth crowns whitened? I know they are not my natural teeth. So will whitening strips work on porcelain? I need to have something done to spruce them up.

-Patricia in Pennsylvania


You are most likely correct that your front teeth crowns are made of porcelain. You are quite fortunate that they have lasted into adulthood. But I don’t have the best news about whitening them. Teeth whitening will have absolutely no affect on the porcelain crowns. Your surrounding teeth will whiten, but that will likely make your front discolored crowns stand out even more. The only way to improve their appearance will be to have them replaced.

If you start googling the idea, you may come across some companies that recommend placing porcelain veneers over top of porcelain crowns. This is a bad idea for many reasons. Porcelain costs are similar for both veneers and crowns, so it really makes sense to have the crowns replaced. Also, due to the age of your crowns, you wouldn’t want to adhere anything to their surface. The bonding to do this really just doesn’t make sense. Even if it saved you some expense, the result wouldn’t last very long, maybe a few years. At this point, have the crowns replaced and get another 20-30 years out of them.

It is also very important to see an expert cosmetic dentist for this type of highly aesthetic and visible work on front teeth. He or she will be able to give you a beautiful new smile and place some brilliant white crowns. You may also want to have your natural teeth whitened and then have the cosmetic dentist match the new crowns to your whitened teeth. When done be an expert cosmetic dentist, the look will be beautiful and natural-looking.

Thank you for your question. Best of luck!

This post is sponsored by Lexington cosmetic dentist Hamburg Expressions.