Does Teeth Whitening Work on Fillings?
Unfortunately, teeth whitening does not work on artificial teeth, crowns or fillings, including porcelain and ceramic. It’s a difficult situation because fillings and crowns of any kind are susceptible to stains and discolouration from wear and tear—but teeth whitening solutions will not restore your fillings to their original colour. You’ll need polishing or replacement for that.
So, if you have a discoloured filling or want to get your teeth and your fillings whitened, what should you do?
What Should I Do if I Have Fillings and Want Whiter Teeth?
If you have fillings and want to lighten your teeth, the best thing to do is to have your filling replaced after whitening to match your new, lighter teeth colour.
If the filling or crown is located toward the back of your mouth, you may be comfortable without replacing the filling. However, if your filling is near your smile zone, you should consult your dentist for their professional opinion. They may be able to polish your filling instead of replacing it.
Either way, if your teeth are healthy, you should whiten them first. Then, match the filling to your teeth.
What Should I Do if I Need to Whiten and Fill My Teeth?
While teeth whitening when you need to fill cavities or cracks is not recommended, it is a sensible option to follow the advice above (whiten, then fill) if your teeth are not too sensitive. Teeth whitening solutions on sensitive teeth can be painful or uncomfortable, but they won’t cause permanent harm. So, if you can bear it, you should whiten first. Then, fill.
However, you should still consult with your dentist before whitening at home when you need a filling. They may recommend that you:
- fill the tooth to match your original colour, whiten your teeth, then replace the filling to match (which will be more expensive)
- fill the tooth to match your estimated colour, then whiten your teeth and hope for the best (which is very difficult to guess and may result in a filling replacement anyway)