Is your smile not as bright as it used to be? If so, you may be considering a whitening treatment. While there are many options for whitening, yours may be limited if you have dental crowns or veneers. Before choosing a method, read this guide to ensure you are making the best choice for your teeth.

Skip the Home Treatments

Most veneers and crowns will not lighten from a home whitening treatment, so there isn't much danger to them. The problem lies instead with the whitening of your teeth. When your crowns or veneers were made, they were constructed to match the color of your teeth at the time of installation. You have very little control over how well a home whitening kit works, so you could end up with natural teeth that are a lighter shade than your crowns or veneers. This would make the false teeth look discolored and would be just as unattractive as yellowed natural teeth.

Make a Dentist Appointment

Your dentist has more control over the whitening procedure. Most dentists mix their own whitening product in office to the strength desired, which allows them to manage how much lightening occurs to your teeth color. They also have the years of experience to guide them on how long to leave a whitening tray in place to achieve the amount of whitening desired. Although a dentist is more skilled, it can still be difficult to get a perfect match. Sometimes your natural teeth may be slightly lighter and it may take a few weeks for the colors to balance out again.

Consider Replacement Options

If you only have one or two veneers or crowns, it may be easier to get your teeth whitened as much as possible, and then replace the veneers or crowns with new ones that match your newly whitened teeth. Keep in mind this is a more expensive option. It also takes longer, since you will need to return to have the old crowns or veneers removed and the new ones fitted. This option is best if you did not have your teeth whitened before the initial installation of the false teeth, or if some damage has already occurred to them, such as a chip or crack.

Avoid Future Staining

Finally, try to maintain your newly whitened teeth. Remember, crowns and veneers aren't porous so they won't discolor along with your natural teeth. Avoid coffee, tea and soda, which can all stain your teeth. Tobacco products, red wine, and some dark berries can also lead to a duller smile. Talk to a dentist like Daniel Savini DDS if you have more questions.