Teeth Whitening: Will Teeth Whitening Work on Dental Fillings?

The typical American has around three dental fillings, and approximately 40% of adults have one or more dental crowns. Patients with crowns and fillings often wonder about the effects of teeth whitening. If you’re considering enhancing your smile with in office Zoom teeth whitening services, your Fairview Allen dentist will go over what you need to know about whitening with crowns and fillings, and what other alternatives you might have.

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What is Teeth Whitening?

Teeth whitening is a cosmetic dentistry procedure that helps to remove surface stains and reveal whiter teeth. There are various options available for teeth whitening, including in-office sessions that use agents like hydrogen peroxide, as well as at-home kits that use carbamide peroxide. With these options, achieving a brighter, more beautiful smile has become more accessible than ever before.

Understanding Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are used to restore decayed teeth and can be either metal amalgams or tooth-colored composites. Tooth-colored fillings, particularly composite resins, are preferred for their natural appearance. Dental bonding can also utilize resin composites to correct minor imperfections in a non-invasive way.

Does Teeth Whitening Affect Fillings?

If you have fillings and you choose to whiten your teeth, your natural teeth can become whiter, but your fillings will remain the same shade, which may result in a noticeable difference in color. To prevent any unwanted effects, it is recommended that you seek advice from your dentist before beginning any teeth whitening treatment, especially if you have dental restorations.

Why Does Teeth Whitening Not Work With Fillings?

Teeth whitening treatments use hydrogen peroxide or carbamide peroxide to remove surface stains from natural teeth’s enamel. However, these treatments cannot remove stains from dental fillings made of composite resins or silver amalgam. The reason is that the materials used for fillings do not have the same chemical structure as natural teeth. Hence, they do not respond to the bleaching agents by changing color.

If you undergo a whitening treatment, the natural parts of your teeth might become several shades lighter, while the areas with dental fillings will retain their original color. This can lead to a potential mismatch in tooth color. Therefore, dental professionals recommend whitening your natural teeth before undergoing any restorative work to ensure consistent color matching across your smile.

What Can You Do If Your Fillings Are Stained or Discolored?

If your dental fillings are stained or discolored, here’s what you can do.

  1. Professional Consultation: The first step in addressing stained or discolored fillings is to consult with your dentist. They can assess the cause of the discoloration and recommend the most appropriate treatment plan. In some cases, the staining could be due to surface stains from food, drink, or tobacco use, which might be remedied with professional cleaning.
  2. Replacement of Fillings: If the discoloration is within the filling material or due to aging, replacing the old filling with a new one may be the best option. Fillings, especially composite resins, can discolor over time due to wear or absorption of stains. Your dentist can remove the old filling and replace it with a new, color-matched filling to restore the appearance of your tooth.
  3. Veneers or Crowns: In cases where the discoloration cannot be corrected with filling replacement, or if there’s a need for additional structural support, your dentist may recommend a veneer or crown. These options not only cover discolorations but can also provide added strength to the treated tooth.
  4. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene: While this won’t reverse existing discoloration, maintaining good oral hygiene can prevent further staining. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups help keep both your natural teeth and fillings looking their best.
  5. Avoid Stain-causing Foods and Beverages: Limiting consumption of foods and beverages known to cause stains (such as coffee, tea, wine, and certain sauces) can help prevent future discoloration of your fillings and natural teeth.
  6. Professional Whitening: While traditional whitening treatments do not work on dental fillings, discussing professional whitening options with your dentist is worthwhile. Some newer techniques may help improve the overall appearance of your smile, though it’s important to have realistic expectations regarding the whitening of restorative materials.

What If I Have Multiple Dental Restorations & Want My Teeth To Be Whitened?

To ensure the best outcome, consult with your dentist before undergoing any whitening procedure. They can guide you on whether the whitening process could impact your dental restorations or suggest alternative methods to achieve a uniform smile. In some cases, replacing old restorations after whitening may match your natural teeth’s new shade.


Your journey to maintaining a healthy smile continues after achieving those pearly whites. Oral hygiene must stay front and center, regularly brushing with fluoride toothpaste, flossing, and avoiding teeth-staining foods and drinks.

Cavities are small holes or openings in your teeth caused by tooth decay. If a whitening solution reaches these areas, it can cause irritation or pain, and it won’t effectively whiten the decayed parts of the tooth. Therefore, it’s important to address cavities with fillings to ensure a uniform whitening effect across all teeth and to prevent the risk of discomfort or harm to your teeth during the whitening process.

It’s recommended to ensure your teeth are in good condition and free of cavities before undergoing any whitening treatments to avoid unnecessary complications and achieve the best possible outcome for a brighter smile.

Get a Brighter Smile With Sloan Creek Dental

Ready to reveal your whiter, brighter smile? Contact Sloan Creek Dental for an expert consult. We’re dedicated to providing individualized and careful treatment to enhance your natural beauty, ensuring a dazzling smile without compromising on your oral health or existing dental work.

If you’re looking for teeth whitening treatment, and in the Fairview Allen area, contact Sloan Creek Dental to schedule a consultation online or call  972-468-1440. Our dental office is located in Fairview, Texas, and our patients visit us from across the surrounding areas, including Allen, Plano, McKinney, and Lucas.