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08 / 01 / 2024

A bright, white smile is often considered a symbol of good oral health and beauty. Many people turn to teeth whitening procedures to achieve that radiant smile. However, what if you have dental crowns? Can you still get your teeth whitened? This is a common question among individuals with dental restorations, and the answer is not as straightforward as one might think.

What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns, also known as dental caps, are custom-made tooth-shaped covers placed over a damaged or discoloured tooth. Crowns serve both functional and aesthetic purposes, providing strength and restoring the appearance of the tooth.


They come in various materials, each with its own set of characteristics and benefits:

1. Porcelain Crowns: These crowns are known for their natural appearance and are commonly used for front teeth due to their lifelike translucency.

2. Ceramic Crowns: Ceramic crowns offer aesthetics similar to porcelain crowns while being durable and resistant to staining.

3. Metal Crowns: These crowns, often made of gold or other alloys, are incredibly durable but less aesthetic and can be visible when smiling.

4. Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns: PFM crowns combine the strength of metal with the aesthetics of porcelain, making them suitable for both front and back teeth.


Can You Whiten Teeth with Crowns?

The answer depends on the type of crown you have and your expectations.

1. Porcelain and Ceramic Crowns: Teeth whitening procedures are generally ineffective on porcelain and ceramic crowns. These materials are highly resistant to stains and do not respond to traditional teeth whitening treatments. Attempting to whiten natural teeth surrounding these crowns can result in uneven colouration, making the crowns stand out even more.

2. Metal Crowns: Metal crowns do not respond to teeth whitening either. Their colour is not affected by bleaching agents, and attempting to whiten adjacent natural teeth may still result in uneven colouring.

3. Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns: PFM crowns offer a bit more flexibility. While the metal part of the crown will not change colour, the porcelain surface may respond to teeth whitening, but only to a limited extent. The effectiveness of whitening may vary depending on the quality of the porcelain used in the crown.


Options for Whiter Teeth with Crowns

If you have them and wish to have a whiter smile, there are still some options to consider:

1. Replace the Crowns: If your crowns are old, discoloured, or no longer aesthetically pleasing, you may choose to have them replaced with new crowns that match your desired shade of white.

2. Professional Teeth Whitening Before Crown Placement: If you plan to get new crowns, consider professional teeth whitening before the crown placement. This way, your natural teeth can be whitened to your desired shade before the crowns are made to match.

3. Dental Bonding: Dental bonding is a cosmetic procedure in which a tooth-coloured resin is applied to the surface of your natural teeth and then shaped and polished to match your desired appearance. This can help improve the overall colour and appearance of your smile, including the teeth adjacent to crowns.

4. Veneers: Porcelain veneers are thin shells that can be placed on the front surface of your teeth, including those with crowns. Veneers can be custom-made to achieve the desired level of whiteness and aesthetics.

5. Good Oral Hygiene: Proper oral hygiene, including regular dental check-ups and cleanings, can help maintain the whiteness of your natural teeth and the overall health of your smile, even if you have crowns.


The effectiveness of teeth whitening when you have crowns depends on the type of crowns you have and your specific circumstances. Porcelain and ceramic crowns, as well as metal crowns, are generally resistant to teeth whitening treatments. Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns may respond to whitening to some extent, but the results can be limited.

If you have crowns and desire a whiter smile, it’s essential to consult with your dentist. They can assess your situation, discuss your options, and recommend the best course of action to achieve your desired results. Whether it’s replacing old crowns, professional teeth whitening, dental bonding, veneers, or simply maintaining good oral hygiene, there are options available to help you achieve a brighter and more confident smile, even with them in place.


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