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Can You Whiten Fake Teeth?

For the most part, fake teeth (dentures, veneers, crowns, fillings) will not whiten with OTC products nor professional teeth whitening. These materials are inherently different from the structure of a natural tooth so whitening them with hydrogen peroxide may not give the same results.


Crest white strips next to dental crown

According to the American Dental Association (ADA), tooth colored restorations such as crowns and implants will not change colors. However, they made no mention of acrylic denture teeth nor tooth colored filling materials.


Table of contents:


 

Can you whiten fake denture teeth?

Fake denture teeth will get a little bit whiter if you try whitening them but the difference may not even be perceivable to the naked eye.


upper complete denture
upper complete denture

Basically what we're trying to say is to not expect results like traditional teeth whitening where your teeth change multiple shades. The main reason for that is that denture teeth are made of acrylic so the peroxide doesn't quite work the same way on it.


According to a study in the Journal of Prosthodontic Research, the color changes from using whitening denture cleansing tablets were clinically insignificant.

  • Corega tabs (GSK/Polident) were compared with The Bony Plus (foreign brand).

  • Results: Corega tabs did whiten slightly more than the other one but it was insignificant.


polident

A different study experimented with various denture products and their effects on the change in color. The results were that alkaline peroxide had the greatest color change, albeit small than all the other solutions. The other solutions were distilled water and 0.5% sodium hypochlorite (bleach).


The alkaline peroxide is basically what is present in all denture cleansing tablets that are whitening. The primary agent that you may know them by is sodium carbonate peroxide, which is a mix of baking soda and peroxide. The alkaline peroxide is essentially how products like Polident and Efferdent whiten and clean denture teeth.


Conclusion: The whitening effect from various products such as whitening cleansing tablets and actual bleach itself only produced a mild result. Do not expect in-office teeth whitening results with trying to whiten denture teeth because they won't really change much in color.


 

Can you whiten fake teeth with porcelain?

Fake teeth such as porcelain veneers and porcelain crowns are typically very resistant to staining and color changes. In other words they don't really discolor like your enamel would. They will typically look identical to the day that they were first placed in your mouth.


ceramic crown on molar

It is due to this reason that patients seek out porcelain teeth whenever they want "permanent whitening". It is because the color doesn't really change. Normal teeth whitening with bleaching will reverse and subside over time but the porcelain will not.


Nonetheless, it is also due to the fact that they don't really change colors that bleaching them doesn't seem to have any effect. According to the ADA, your porcelain veneers and crowns will not change colors even with any type of whitening.


According to a study in the Journal of Dentistry, a 6% hydrogen peroxide whitening gel had no effect on the surfaces of porcelain restorations. The researchers even attempted to observe any changes under a scanning electron microscope but found nothing.


A different study evaluated the effects of whitening strips on porcelain crowns and veneers. They also found that there were no discernible color changes to the porcelain restorations.


Conclusion: Porcelain veneers shouldn't stain nor change color much after they're bonded on your teeth. They are resistant to not only stains but also to teeth whitening as well. It is due to their color stability that patients choose them over teeth whitening if they want a more permanent solution.


 

Can you whiten dental fillings?

You may be surprised but composite dental fillings can potentially change colors when subjected to peroxide bleaching.


old composite dental filling
old composite dental filling

According to the Journal of The Canadian Dental Association, packable and nanohybride composites did change colors after 15% carbamide peroxide treatment. The color was even more noticeable when subjected to 35% hydrogen peroxide. Despite the color change, the results were still clinically acceptable.


However according to a study in the Dental Materials Journal, there were noticeable color changes in the tested composites. They even suggested that the fillings may require replacement after treatment. This implies that the color change may not have been acceptable.


A different study found that not all composites changed colors. Only the polyacid-modified composites changed colors while the other tested ones did not.


With that being said, there were contradictory studies which showed that composite resin fillings were actually resistant to bleaching treatment. In other words, the whitening had no effect on the color of the dental fillings.


Conclusion: There were studies which showed that they can change colors while others that said they couldn't. It may have to do with the type of composite resin that was used because there are many different types. More studies will need to be conducted in the future for a definitive answer.


 

Takeaway

Typically, fake teeth will not whiten so if you want to change its color, you will need them replaced by your dentist. At least it isn't really worth the effort to waste whitening gel on it.

  • Acrylic denture teeth can potentially whiten a tiny bit but it isn't really noticeable.

  • Porcelain veneers and crowns also will not change colors since they're stain resistant and bleaching resistant.

  • Surprisingly composite fillings can potentially change colors. Although it may depend on the type of composite that was used since some studies reported no color changes at all while others did.


If you're interested in replacing your fake teeth to change it to a whiter color, our dentists in Long Island City can help you if you're nearby.

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About the author: Dr David Chen, DDS

Hello, I'm Dr Chen and I'm an actively practicing dentist in Long Island City, NY. I graduated from Columbia University College of Dental Medicine in 2016 but prior to going to dental school I was already working in the dental field. It's been more than a decade since I first got to know dentistry and let me tell you, time flies by quickly. Since then I've developed a fondness for writing, which is how this all got started!

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Medical Disclaimer:

This blog is purely meant for information purposes and should not be used as medical advice. Each situation in your mouth is unique and complex. It is not possible to give advice nor diagnose any oral conditions based on text nor virtual consultations. The best thing to do is to go in person to see your dentist for an examination and consultation so that you can receive the best care possible.

The purpose of all of this oral health information is to encourage you to see your dentist and to inform you of what you may expect during your visit. Due to the unfortunate nature of dentistry, there isn't really any true home remedies that will get rid of dental problems. Roughly 99.99% of them require in-person intervention by a healthcare professional.

Hint: That is the reason why you can't eliminate seeing dentists in your life!

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