What You Should Know About Teeth Whitening and Stained Fillings/Crowns

Teeth Whitening


A radiant smile is often considered a sign of confidence and good oral hygiene. However, over time, our teeth can become stained and lose their natural brightness. This is where teeth whitening comes into play, offering a simple and effective solution to restore the brilliance of your smile. But what about stained fillings and crowns?

Understanding Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dental procedure designed to lighten the color of your teeth, removing stains and discoloration. It is an excellent option for individuals who wish to enhance the appearance of their teeth and achieve a brighter smile. Professional teeth whitening procedures are typically performed by dentists, utilizing various techniques such as bleaching agents or laser treatments. There are also over-the-counter teeth whitening products available for at-home use.

Types of Teeth Stains

Before considering teeth whitening, it is essential to understand the different types of tooth stains. This knowledge can help you determine the most suitable whitening method for your specific situation. The primary categories of tooth stains include:

Extrinsic Stains

Extrinsic stains are superficial stains that occur on the outer surface of the tooth enamel. These stains are often caused by smoking, consuming dark-colored foods and beverages, and poor oral hygiene.

Intrinsic Stains

Intrinsic stains are internal stains that occur within the structure of the tooth. These stains may result from aging, certain medications, excessive fluoride exposure during tooth development, or trauma to the tooth.

Teeth Whitening Techniques

Teeth whitening techniques can be broadly categorized into two types: in-office professional whitening and at-home whitening. Let's take a closer look at each:

In-Office Professional Whitening

This method involves visiting a dental professional who will apply a bleaching agent directly to your teeth. The bleaching agent is activated using a special light or laser. In-office whitening typically yields immediate and more dramatic results.

At-Home Whitening

At-home whitening kits are available over the counter and typically contain whitening gels or strips. These products are applied to the teeth using trays or strips. While at-home whitening may take longer to achieve desired results, it offers convenience and affordability.

Factors to Consider Before Teeth Whitening

Teeth whitening is generally a safe procedure; however, there are a few important factors to consider before undergoing treatment. These include:

Dental Health

It is crucial to have a healthy mouth before proceeding with teeth whitening. Cavities, gum disease, and other dental issues should be addressed first to ensure the best possible outcome.


Some individuals may experience tooth sensitivity during or after teeth whitening. If you have sensitive teeth, it is advisable to consult with your dentist before undergoing any whitening procedure.

Existing Restorations

If you have fillings, crowns, or veneers, it is essential to note that teeth whitening agents primarily work on natural tooth enamel. The whitening process does not alter the color of existing dental restorations, which can result in noticeable discrepancies in the shade.

Stained Fillings and Crowns

If you have stained dental restorations, such as fillings or crowns, it's important to understand that teeth whitening may not be effective in changing their color. Unlike natural tooth enamel, dental restorations are made of materials that are resistant to the bleaching agents used in teeth whitening procedures. Therefore, if you undergo teeth whitening with existing fillings or crowns, they may remain the same shade while your natural teeth become whiter. This contrast can be noticeable and may affect the overall aesthetic outcome of your smile.

Options for Addressing Stained Dental Restorations

If you have stained fillings or crowns and wish to achieve a more uniform appearance after teeth whitening, there are a few options to consider:


One option is to replace the stained dental restorations with new ones that match your desired tooth shade. This can be done after teeth whitening to ensure consistent color across your smile. Consulting with your dentist will help determine the best materials and procedures for achieving the desired result.

Dental Bonding

Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure that involves applying a tooth-colored resin material to the surface of the stained restoration. This can help improve its appearance and blend it with the surrounding teeth. However, it's important to note that bonding may require regular maintenance and may not be as durable as a full replacement.


If you have multiple stained restorations or wish to enhance the appearance of your entire smile, veneers can be an option. Veneers are thin shells made of porcelain or composite material that are custom-made to fit over the front surface of your teeth. They can cover stained dental restorations and provide a natural, uniform appearance.

Consulting with a Dental Professional

When dealing with stained dental restorations and considering teeth whitening, it is essential to consult with a dental professional. They can assess your oral health, evaluate the condition of your dental restorations, and recommend the most suitable treatment options for achieving your desired smile.

Remember, the goal of teeth whitening is to enhance the natural color of your teeth and create a brighter smile. While teeth whitening may not change the color of existing dental restorations, addressing them separately can help achieve a more consistent and aesthetically pleasing result. By understanding the options available and seeking professional guidance, you can make informed decisions regarding your oral health and the appearance of your smile.


Can teeth whitening effectively remove stains from fillings and crowns?

No, teeth whitening does not effectively remove stains from fillings and crowns. The bleaching agents used in teeth whitening procedures primarily target natural tooth enamel and do not alter the color of dental restorations.

What options are available for addressing stained fillings and crowns?

The options for addressing stained fillings and crowns include replacing the restorations with new ones that match your desired tooth shade, dental bonding to improve their appearance, or considering veneers to cover multiple stained restorations and achieve a more uniform smile.

Is it necessary to consult with a dental professional before teeth whitening if I have stained fillings or crowns?

Yes, it is essential to consult with a dental professional before teeth whitening if you have stained fillings or crowns. They can assess the condition of your restorations, evaluate your oral health, and recommend the most suitable treatment options to achieve your desired results.

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