Teeth Whitening and Dental Implants: Which Should Come First?

There are a few things you need to plan in preparation for your dental implant surgery. Most of these are fairly obvious, like taking time off work and asking a family member or friend to drive you home afterwards. But what about planning other dental procedures? If you're considering teeth whitening at some stage, you need to put this plan into action before you receive your dental implant. 

A Predetermined Colour

The important thing to remember about your dental implant is that the prosthetic tooth attached to it will be porcelain and will be a predetermined colour. This colour is selected because it's a precise match to your other teeth, allowing the prosthetic tooth to blend in. This ability to blend is dependent on your other teeth staying more-or-less the same colour. And of course, the point of teeth whitening is to change the colour of your teeth.

Immediate Results

The process of whitening your teeth needs to take place while your dental implant is still in the planning stages. This allows the prosthetic tooth to be colour-matched to the new colour of your teeth. It's best to have your dentist perform this whitening. Many home whitening treatments are progressive and achieve their results over the course of several weeks, meaning that you won't necessarily know how white your teeth will be at the end of your treatment. This differs from the immediate results offered by professional teeth whitening.

Before the Implant

This whitening treatment can take place shortly before you receive your dental implant. The process is brief and immediate, and any irritation you experience will rapidly subside. Given the fact that your whitening treatment is not particularly invasive, it will not exclude you from receiving additional forms of dental treatment. 

Maintaining the Colour

Once your teeth have been whitened and your dental implant has been finalised, you need to focus on maintaining the overall colour of your teeth. You don't need to whiten the prosthetic tooth, and any over-the-counter treatments your prosthetic tooth is exposed to won't have a noticeable effect. Regular cleaning to remove surface stains will be sufficient to keep the prosthetic tooth white. You will need to keep up your whitening regime for your other teeth so that they don't discolour and create a mismatch when compared to their prosthetic neighbour. Professional whitening treatment at your dentist is best for this type of colour maintenance since over-the-counter treatments won't necessarily offer the required level of precision. 

Yes, teeth whitening can go hand in hand with a dental implant, but it needs to come first.