I have been whitening my teeth but my implant is darker.

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I’ve had a dental implant on my front tooth for several years now. It used to look nice and blend in with my other teeth. But, over the years it is starting to look dingy. So, I decided to do some at home teeth whitening kits to try to spruce it up. Unfortunately, it is turning much darker than the rest of my teeth.

Do I need to get professional teeth whitening by a dentist to fix my dental implant?

-Jenna in Kentucky


Oh no! As you’ve experienced, dental implants cannot be whitened with bleaching products. Even teeth whitening done by your dentist will do nothing to change the color of the implant. Any kind of teeth whitening must be done prior to a dental implant being placed.

woman sitting in an exam chair at dentist looking upThe bleaching agents only work on natural tooth structure, which mean they are ineffective on porcelain. The at home teeth whitening system you used is specifically for surface stains on teeth. So, your teeth are getting whiter and the implant is unchanged, which is why it appears darker now.

When a dentist places the restoration on a dental implant, the color is chosen to match your surrounding teeth. It is sealed, which makes a dental implant pretty stain resistant. If needed, stains can be added to the implant after the fact to darken it. But, it cannot be whitened.

Therefore, the original color that was chosen for your dental implant will remain the same throughout it’s life. Most dentists, especially if they are focused on cosmetic dentistry, will offer you teeth whitening before placing the dental implant. Then, after the color has stabilized, the dental implant treatment will take place.

The bad news is that in order to have a uniform smile, the porcelain crown on your front tooth will need to be redone. If you are content with the color of your other teeth, then the crown can be made to blend in perfectly. This time around, be sure you find a cosmetic dentist. They can give you recommendations about how your current shade looks and see if any other treatment will help enhance your smile after the crown is fixed.

Thank you for your question. Hopefully, it is helpful for someone considering dental implants.

This post is sponsored by a cosmetic dentist in Lexington, Hamburg Expressions.