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How Do I Touch Up My Whitening Before Getting a Dental Crown

I have to get a dental crown on a front tooth. Because I read the color is permanent, I’d like to touch up my teeth. I had them whitened a few years ago and they’ve been picking up stains again recently. I asked my dentist for some extra whitening gel, but he couldn’t give me an idea of how often and long to use the gel to get my teeth back where they were.. Are there any standards for this?


Dear Meagan,

Teeth Bleaching Trays

I’m a little concerned your dentist could not advise you on this. The principles of teeth whitening are fairly simple. It is the easiest cosmetic procedure dentists do. Given his inability to answer this question, I have serious doubts he’ll be able to provide you with a dental crown on a front tooth that looks natural and matches the adjacent tooth.

Crowns of front teeth are much more difficult because of how directly the light hits them. It takes an expert cosmetic dentist to do them beautifully. If you want to stay with this dentist for your dental crown, make sure he uses a temporary try-in paste when your crown is ready and allows you to see it in several types of lighting. If you don’t like how it looks, he needs to re-do it. Don’t let him bond it on.

You may be better served by finding a different dentist to do your crown. The best cosmetic dentists are accredited with the American Academy of Cosmetic dentistry.

How Much Teeth Whitening?

As to how much teeth whitening, the principle is fairly easy. The longer you wear the whitening gel, the faster it will whiten. If you’re in a hurry, I suggest wearing it overnight. First, that allows it to stay on your teeth longer. Second, your saliva production goes down at night which means there will be less dilution.

If you prefer wearing it during the day, that’s fine too. Just wear it for as long as you comfortably can.

The one hard and fast rule here is once your reach the level of whitening you are happy with and you are done with the whitening gel , you want to give it a week for the color to settle before having the color of your crown matched to it.

This blog is brought to you by Salem, MA Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.