Can I whiten a dental crown if it is old? My crown is turning beige. So are my teeth for that matter. I know I can whiten them, I was just wondering about the crown.
Beatrice N. – Pennsylvania
A dental crown, or any other dental restoration, cannot be whitened. Only natural tooth structure is whitened. That doesn’t mean you can’t have white teeth.
What it will mean is doing professional teeth whitening and then getting a new crown. Make sure you go to a dentist that does an all porcelain crown. It will be much more beautiful than a porcelain fused to metal crown.
This blog is brought to you by Lafayette, LA Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.
I have a tooth I need to replace. I am trying to decide whether I should get a dental implant or a bridge. Is there any advantage to the implant? They are much more expensive.
Desiree J. – New Mexico
This is an important question. Dental implants are fantastic and function much more like your natural teeth than a bridge, but there are times where a bridge would make more sense. Your dentist can help you determine which one is the better treatment, but here is a basic guideline.
When one of your adjacent teeth needs some work, such as a dental crown. If you’re going to need to have an adjacent tooth ground down anyway, you can save money by getting a bridge. It will replace your tooth and crown the sick one simultaneously.
If, on the other hand, both of the adjacent teeth are healthy and you have the money, you’ll be much happier with the dental implant. It is much more like your natural tooth.
This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr.Mike Malone.
I have a tooth gap that is a little over 1/2 a centimeter. My dentist said he can fix it with dental bonding. How will that fix it? Wouldn’t that make my teeth really wide? Will that look attractive and I just can’t picture it?
Rhianna L. – Newark, NJ
Over 1/2 a centimeter is quite a large gap. In fact, you can fit a small tooth in that size space. Unless your teeth are unnaturally narrow, I don’t think adding in that much structure will make your teeth look normal.
Tooth bonding (or dental bonding) is generally a good way to close a tooth gap, but it has to be a small gap. I’m not sure your dentist is the one to do it. You seem to have more of a sense of aesthetics than he or she does. That isn’t a good sign.
You don’t want your basic family dentist to do serious cosmetic procedures. These take additional post-graduate training. You also want someone who has an artistic eye. If you’re serious about closing your gap, I’d look into Invisalign. It will actually close the gap and almost any dentist can perform this.
This blog is brought to you by Louisiana Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Mike Malone.