Dentist Pressuring Me to Whiten My Teeth

I am getting annoyed at my dentist. I’m planning on getting a dental implant on a front tooth. It’s going to cost me a fortune. Yet, my dentist still isn’t satisfied. He’s nagging me to get my teeth whitened first. That’s even more money. Should I do what he wants? Is there a legitimate reason or is it just a money grab?

Luis F.

Dear Luis,

before teeth whitening
Before Teeth Whitening
After Teeth Whitening
After Teeth Whitening

While I don’t know your dentist or his motives, there is a sound principle behind you getting your teeth whitened ahead of getting your dental implant, especially given the tooth you’re replacing is a visible front tooth.

What your dentist doesn’t seem to have explained to you is the reason. Once the porcelain crown for your dental implant is made, the color cannot be changed. If your teeth are showing some yellowing and you eventually decide to whiten them, you’ll have a beautiful white smile….except for where your implant crown is. That will still match your older yellowed color. That will be both distracting and unattractive.

Doesn’t Teeth Whitening Take Forever?

One argument is that teeth whitening can take weeks to get to the level of whitening the patient wants. When you’re anxious to get started on your implant surgery, that can seem like an unnecessary delay. After all, you could simply replace the crown later when you’re ready to whiten. However, it’s no longer necessary.

With Zoom Whitening, or other brand of in-office whitening, you can completely whiten your teeth in just one appointment. You will want to give it a week before getting your crown though, in order to allow the color to settle a bit. But, with dental implants, that’s not a problem. The implant surgery comes before the crown, so you have plenty of time.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Jerome Cha.