Can I Whiten My Crowns?

Whitening gels only work on natural teeth and have no effect on crowns. Here's what to do if you want to whiten your dental crowns.

Updated on

I am still perplexed as to why they haven't invented whiteners for crowns. Do I still have to replace my crowns to get them whiter or do I need to opt for veneers?

A: I’m surprised too, as the new products and techniques in dentistry just keep coming in. We can whiten porcelain crowns, veneers, and fillings; we just can’t-do it in the mouth!

The whitening gels we use to whiten teeth only work on natural teeth and have no effect on porcelain surfaces.

If you have crowns now, you can’t go back to veneers. Plastic fillings and bonding technically do not respond to the whitening process. I say “technically” because if the bonding is thin enough, it will seem as if the tooth has lightened when the lighter tooth surface will show through.

So the answer is “yes,” you do need to replace your crowns if you want them to match your whiter teeth. However, I would do this after you whiten your teeth so that your dentist knows the exact color to match to. Wait two weeks until after you are satisfied with your whitening before replacing your crowns.

Blog Notes:  About Mark Burhenne DDS

Welcome! My name is Dr. Mark Burhenne, or Dr. B for short. When did we start seeing the mouth as separate from the rest of the human body?

The mouth doesn’t exist in a vacuum. It is intimately connected to the health of the rest of the body.

In fact, the bacteria and entire environment inside the mouth are connected to the rest of your body so intimately that the state of your oral health can predict whether you’ll have heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and diabetes.

In my 30 years of practice as a dentist, I’ve seen a lot of misinformation and people who have fallen through the cracks due to our healthcare system’s failure to understand the oral-body connection.

I created this blog to empower people to understand how your mouth is a window into the health of the rest of your body.

It is my sincere hope that the knowledge and tools on this blog will lead to greater health and well-being for you and those you love.

Throughout this website you’ll find high-quality articles and free resources for getting and staying healthy. It’s the info I use to keep myself and my family healthy, and how I treat my patients.

I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a B.S. in Biochemistry and B.A. in History of Art and had the privilege of attending the University of the Pacific Dugoni School of Dentistry in San Francisco, consistently ranked among the best in the US.

I am an active member of several continuing education groups and study clubs in prosthetics and periodontology that perform actual clinical work on patients. I have worked as an expert witness in legal dental cases. I’ve also volunteered as a dental surgeon in Jos, Nigeria.

I raised three daughters without cavities (all without ingestion of fluoride). I enjoy downhill skiing, alpine touring, mountain biking, photography, and listening to jazz and classical records (you know, those flat analog 12-inch vinyl discs).

I am passionate about restoring teeth to their original function and beauty – and as someone who studied art history and is a hobbyist photographer, the intersection of art and the opportunity to help people makes dentistry my dream profession.

I welcome your comments and questions and encourage you to like my Facebook page or follow me on Twitter to get the latest on oral and dental health.

Mark Burhenne DDS

Read Next: How Can I Whiten My Veneers?

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  1. Lisa adsett says:

    I hate my crowns I have mostly crowns and they r yellow I’m ashamed of myself when I talk and is affecting my on NHS so implants I can’t afford.I even wrote to embarrassing bodies and ten years younger but no response .I would go abroad and get white implants but story’s of it going wrong is hard but just to smile property would be much abroad would it cost to have implants,II intend to get married next year and want to look as white as the dress is their a way you can advise a cheap solution for me ,maybe you cauld talk to ten years younger,or embarrassing bodies ,or a practice school,illbe dummy thank you

    • Hello,
      Going abroad is most effective solutions as is not expensive and you can get very cheap prices compared to NHS as well. I have done that very recently for a full top arcade of crowns and veneers and i was impressed how cheap was compared to here.

    • A dentist misplaced my crowns and put them in before I could whiten my own teeth. I had braces in 1940s and my two front teeth were again crossing over and instead of going the braces route, I opted to have them crowned. Big mistake! I want whiter teeth and can’t find anything or anyone who can do the job.

    • I have new very white implants but my two crowns are grey Can you send advise on how to whiten two crowns at home. Tried Crest white tripe didn’t wok at all Is there a perfect Crest white stripe for crowns?

  2. Hello,
    Going abroad is most effective solutions as is not expensive and you can get very cheap prices compared to NHS as well. I have done that very recently for a full top arcade of crowns and veneers and i was impressed how cheap was compared to here.

    • Saw your comment on going abroad for implants or was it new crowns? May I have some going abroad info on where to start?

      • Anonymous says:

        It was for crowns and veneers.
        I made it in two visits. First visit was for consultation and i made to prepare for my next visit (the final work). Romania is cheap and affordable for accommodation as well.

  3. The fluoride comment is utterly hilarious, and frankly embarrassing.

    People will believe in conspiracies though, I guess. Every Western country on Earth with fluoridation has absolutely zero problems but lo and behold, there’s someone that wants to find a problem.

  4. Hello, i have two bridges but i did crowns in my front teeth and they lighter color so i need to light my bridges can that be done. i need to know if that possible and how much money will the cost.

    thank you

    • Mark Burhenne, DDS says:

      Hi there, Flaka.
      Were you able to read my post? Unfortunately, as discussed above, there is no way to whiten them.
      I’m sorry for the disappointment.

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