Can Teeth Whitening Damage Teeth?
Teeth discoloration is a sign that your enamel has been damaged. While some believe that teeth whitening damage is an effect of whitening products, this is not true. Flossing and brushing are conventional ways to maintain the cleanliness of your teeth.
However, when it comes to teeth discoloration, the cure is more than brushing and flossing. One of the most common solutions to teeth discoloration is known as teeth whitening.
You may be bothered that your smile somehow does not have some sparkle or that your teeth are pretty yellowish. This calls for a teeth whitening procedure. But before you book a dentist appointment for this, let’s first answer the universal question — can teeth whitening damage teeth?
What is teeth whitening?
This is the dental process of removing the teeth stains that caused its discoloration. There are different ways of whitening one’s teeth, and these are the following: whitening toothpaste, whitening strips, activated charcoal, in-office dental treatment, and use of dental crowns.
Can teeth whitening damage your teeth?
The short and straightforward answer to this question is no; it won’t damage your teeth or enamel. Your dentist may employ different ways to whiten your teeth. This can also be done at home or the dentist’s clinic. Either way, they can safely administer the procedure without causing harm or damage to your teeth.
The process involves bleaching the teeth with carbamide peroxide, wherein urea and hydrogen peroxide are broken down and spurs a chemical reaction. This chemical reaction is responsible for keeping the teeth white in color.
However, even if the entire whitening procedure is safe, some side effects are worth mentioning. Here are some of them.
- You can expect your teeth to be a bit sensitive after any teeth whitening procedure. This sensitivity is often experienced during your first or second sessions. However, this is just temporary and would most likely diminish over time. You can ask your dentist for recommendations for products that could treat sensitivity — one that contains sodium fluoride and potassium nitrate gel.
- Aside from teeth sensitivity, you might also experience gum or gingival irritation. This happens after your gum comes in contact with the whitening product used. Like teeth sensitivity, gum irritation caused by teeth whitening only lasts temporarily. They should get away after a few dental visits.
Note that teeth whitening couldn’t be done permanently. Yes, they can work for extended periods, but you still need to visit your dentist once in a while to keep your teeth from intrinsic and extrinsic discoloration.
The products that are often used to whiten teeth are only practical and helpful for natural teeth. If you have dentures, bridges, implants, or crowns, talk to your dentist about unifying their colors. And to avoid complications, also remember that teeth whitening procedures are not recommended for teeth with active cavities and people who have dental procedures in progress.
Teeth whitening and dental crowns
As mentioned above, dental crowns are one of the best ways to treat discoloration. However, whitening products don’t work on them. You see, one of the main concerns of people with dental crowns is that their original teeth might discolor and stain, while their dental crowns remain sterling white.
And since these crowns are made of composite porcelain or porcelain, they are not affected by whitening products. This means that you have to ensure that your original teeth keep up with the color of your dental crown.
What is the purpose of dental crowns?
A person can get a dental crown for any of these two reasons — cosmetic or functional. The former reason may include the restoration of crooked teeth or cover stained teeth. A porcelain crown can hide severely discolored tooth.
The latter reason, on the other hand, may include any of the following:
- Weak teeth: A crown can protect weakened or damaged teeth.
- Heavily-filled teeth: Heavy filling can weaken the teeth’ structure, and a porcelain crown can remedy this.
- Restoring a single tooth: If you already have a dental implant to replace your missing tooth, you need a porcelain crown to cover your implant.
- After Root Canal: Root canal treatment can weaken the teeth. To restore the teeth’ strength, a crown needs to cover them.
Are dental crowns permanent?
Clinics offer both temporary and permanent crowns. Temporary crowns work like dental crowns but are not meant to stay in place or last. Typically, composite, aluminum, or steel crowns are used as temporary dental crowns. They are also usually prefabricated in the dentist’s office.
Permanent crowns, on the other hand, are meant to cover your teeth for many years. These are usually made in specialized facilities. Then again, technologically advanced dental equipment made making these crowns in dental clinics possible.
How are dental crowns prepared?
Getting dental crowns is common, and this typically involves the following procedures:
- Preparation of the tooth: To make room for the dental crown, some materials might need to be removed from your teeth.
- Impressions: The tooth impression will be the basis for dental crown development. These tooth impressions will be sent to a lab to determine the exact dimensions. If you want to have colored dental colors, you must specify them before sending impressions to the lab.
- Crown Installation: This is usually done during the patient’s second visit. The dentist needs to make sure first if the fit and the aesthetics of the dental crown are acceptable. Single-day installation is also feasible with the help of machinery that can prepare dental crowns in the clinic.
If you are not sure whether you need a dental crown or not or when it’s time to get your teeth whitened, consult with your dentist. It always pays to get an expert opinion before making any medical or dental decision.
The entire teeth whitening process, may it be an in-office process done at the dental clinic, through the use of dental whitening products, or through a procedure known as dental crown installation, are generally safe.
They won’t lead to teeth whitening damage. They won’t cause damage to the teeth or enamel. However, it’s still in your best interest to exercise caution after the procedure. Always coordinate with your dentist and ask how you can mitigate the minor and temporary side effects.