Everyone wants to show off a beautiful white smile, but if you have dental fillings, you may worry that professional teeth whitening is not suitable for you. The good news is that you can whiten your teeth even if you have fillings, but there are a few things that you need to consider.
Does Teeth Whitening Damage Dental Fillings?
More than a decade of research has shown that teeth whitening does not damage dental fillings. Dentists typically use a solution containing 10% carbamide peroxide to bleach stains away from teeth. This chemical does not react with metal fillings, modern composite filling materials or dental bonding materials, so you can safely whiten your teeth without worrying about your fillings becoming loose or being damaged.
Does Teeth Whitening Give Good Results If You Have Dental Fillings?
Although there is no danger in whitening filled teeth, the results could be disappointing. Just like natural teeth, white fillings can develop stains as a result of contact with dark-coloured foods and drinks. Unfortunately, standard teeth whitening methods can't remove stains from fillings. If you have fillings in your front teeth, teeth whitening could give you disappointing results, as the fillings will remain stained while your natural teeth get whiter, creating a patchy appearance.
How to Whiten Your Teeth If You Have Stained Dental Fillings
The only way to deal with stained dental fillings is to replace them. Dentists generally recommend first having a teeth whitening treatment to bring your natural teeth to the desired shade, followed by a procedure to remove the old fillings and replace them with new ones that match the shade of your whitened teeth.
Should I Have My White Fillings Replaced?
Studies show that white composite resin fillings have a lifespan of between 5 and 7 years, so it's likely that you will need to have them replaced at some point. Having them replaced now could not only give you a whiter smile, but also put off the time when you next need to replace them. Replacing a dental filling is a very minor procedure that is usually completely painless.
How to Get Advice About Teeth Whitening
If you're not sure whether teeth whitening is the right solution for you, consult an experienced cosmetic dentist for advice. Let the dentist know that you are worried about your dental fillings and ask what results you can expect from the teeth whitening procedure.