Can Implants Be Whitened Without Damaging Them?

Will smoking make stains difficult to remove from my dental implants? Is there a special treatment to remove those stains?

Doctor Answers 7

Smoking affects dental implants

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The stain from smoking can easily be removed during standard prophy cleaning with hygienist and with regular meticulous oral care. The major problem that is present here is the prognosis of the dental implant due to poor hygiene and heavy smoking. All these factors will affect the gum and the bone that surrounds dental implant, support inflammation and lead to variety complications, when loss of implant is one of them. You should significantly improve your home oral hygiene and consider quit smoking in order to keep your oral health. 

Why Whitening will not work on Stained Implant Crowns

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Choosing to whiten stained implant crowns will not make a difference.  Whitening materials will only work on natural teeth and hence any form of a crown or a resin restoration will not alter its shade.  

The solution might be simple if a porcelain crown is stained due to external factors such as tabaco, coffee or tea.  A  polishing will likely remove the discolouration.  This can be done by your dental provider but make sure that a none abrasive polishing paste is used to prevent unnecessary scratching of the porcelain.

Dan Haas, DDS
Toronto Dentist

Bleaching and Dental Implants

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You should know that dental imlant crowns or any other crowns cannot be bleached.  Your dentist should have asked you initially whether you wanted to have your teeth whitened in order to make your crown match the bleached shade.  If the teeth are the same shade as your implant crown now, then you may need to have the crown changed for a lighter one to match when you bleach.  This is when it comes down to desire of a cosmentic enhancement and finances.  Good luck

Keith Blankenship, DDS
Jacksonville Dentist

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How to care for implant crowns

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The implant crown is made from a porcelain material that will not bleach. The crown will however pick up stain so frequent cleaning and polishing is needed. We like to use an aluminum oxide paste to remove stains and keep the polish of the crowns adequate. If you are going to be bleaching the teeth surrounding the implant crown, getting the hydrogen peroxide products on the porcelain should not cause any damage. I would warn you about the effects of nicotine and smoking on the health of the gums around the implant. Smoking causes the body to not be as effective at fighting infection. So imagine plaque buildup around the implant and the infection that will follow it could cause stability problems with your implant long term!

J. Willis Baker, DDS
Wichita Dentist

Removing smoking stains from implants

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Smoking stains are more difficult to remove from implants than regular teeth because you can't use an ultrasonic cleaner to remove the stain.  However, they can be removed with a fine diamond polishing paste that will not scratch the porcelain.  It takes more time and a bit more effort but can be done effectively with a good dental hygienist.

Sean Anderson, DDS
San Ramon Dentist

Smoking and dental implants

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Generally stain from the porcelain on a crown should not be difficult to remove by a dental professional during your cleaning.  It does not make a difference whether that crown is sitting on a dental implant or a tooth.  What concerns me most is the risk of Peri-implantitis in people who smoke.  Peri-implantitis is when the soft tissue and bone around the implant gets infected by bacteria.  Smokers are especially susceptible to this condition.  It occurs frequently enough that I and many implantologists do not place dental implants in people who smoke. I would suggest not smoking for many health reasons besides the one I just mentioned.  Good Luck!

Peter Mann, DDS
Manhattan Dentist

Implant whitening

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Unfortunately, whitening will have no effect on dental implant color.  Dental whitening will only effect natural tooth structure.  Smoking however, may discolor your implant crown depending on the type of material that was used.  As a side note, smoking may also adversely affect the stability of your implant.

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.