A major component of routine dental care is a professional cleaning. Because this is typically done by a dental hygienist, someone in this profession typically knows more about the patients' teeth than the dentist or even the patient themselves. This makes a dental hygienist a tremendous source of information about oral health. Take advantage of…
Can You Use Whitening Products on Metal-Free Fillings?
When your dentist placed your metal-free fillings in your mouth, the composite resin matched your teeth. Now, though, the filling does not match your teeth. The filling itself might have become stained and yellow, or your natural teeth may have lost their luster. Either way, you are considering a whitening treatment. It is important to learn how composite resin responds to whitening treatments and what you can do to restore your smile.
Metal-free fillings and whitening
Composite resin fillings are nonporous, but the material can become slightly porous over time. This usually occurs at the surface and causes the filling to stain. However, composite resin does not respond to tooth whitening procedures. People who choose to get their teeth whitened will notice that the rest of their teeth turn out whiter than the fillings do. Fortunately, there are still options.
Whiten before the restoration
People who have yet to get composite resin fillings should consider a whitening treatment beforehand. Dentists match the fillings to the teeth. When the teeth are whitened beforehand, the dentist can match the filling to the newly whitened teeth. Those who wait until after the restoration end up with multicolored mouths.
Cleaning the stain away
Most stains are superficial. Dentists can use a sandpaper disk to remove some of the composite resin material from the top of the filling. This often removes the stains. Then the filling blends in with the rest of the natural teeth.
Replace the dental filling
Dentists generally do not like to replace dental fillings unless the restoration has failed. A portion of the healthy tooth must be removed with each restoration. This weakens the tooth and makes it more difficult to perform future restorations. However, patients who have severely discolored metal-free fillings can consider replacing them. It is wise to consult with a dentist to determine if this is the right step.
Get dental veneers
When the discolored filling is on a front tooth, patients feel very self-conscious. People worry about talking and smiling because the discolored filling looks out of place. Patients can choose dental veneers to cover up the restoration. Porcelain veneers are placed on the front of the tooth. The dentist begins by removing a small bit of enamel and then bonds the veneer to the tooth.
Patients need to make sure this is the right choice for them before choosing veneers. Since the dentist removes some of the enamel, patients cannot decide to remove the veneers down the road. If the restoration fails, patients will need to get new veneers. It is critical to discuss the commitment with a dentist beforehand.
Discuss your options
If you have discolored metal-free fillings, discuss your options with your dentist. You are not a good candidate for a whitening procedure, but your dentist might be able to remove the stains in the office. You can also consider replacing your fillings or getting dental veneers. Your dentist will help you weigh each option and choose the right one.
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