I am a 54-year young female and would like to whiten my teeth. I have a filling in between my two front teeth. It, of course, is not the exact same white as my teeth. Will whitening gel whiten the filling? If not, what are my options? Thank you in advance.
—Cindy from Massachusetts
The fillings won’t whiten. So what you do is first do the tooth whitening, then wait about two weeks and have the filling re-surfaced or re-done to match your new whiter color. The reason for waiting before doing the fillings is because it takes a little while for the color to stabilize after bleaching—there is a slight relapse after you finish whitening. During the whitening process, tiny oxygen bubbles get incorporated into the dentin of your teeth, which makes them appear whiter. As those bubbles dissipate, which takes about two weeks, your teeth will settle into a stable color. So to be sure to wait that time before having the fillings done.
If there is tooth decay present, this has to be filled before it is safe to bleach. Then later, the fillings will need to be re-surfaced, or the color won’t match. If there is no decay, then just wait and do the fillings later.
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This content was written by Dr. David Hall.