Three years ago, I whitened my teeth with Opalescence PF. I used take home trays and I believe the strength was around 20%. I am about to get a crown on a lateral incisor. I want to get my teeth back to their level of whitening before I get the crown made so I’m not stuck with a color I don’t want long term. My dentist wasn’t able to answer some questions I have and I’m hoping you can. First, how many weeks will I need to whiten? Second, is there an amount of time each day? Third, is there a waiting period between whitening and getting my dental crown?
Thank you for writing. One of your questions has a solid answer. The other two I can answer with an understanding of how teeth whitening works which will arm you with the information you need to move forward. I’ll start with the last question first. You will need to wait 1-2 weeks between the time you stop whitening and the time you get your dental crown. This is because the whitening gel is still reacting with your teeth for that amount of time.
As for how many weeks and how long each day, that is completely up to you. The main principle of teeth whitening is that the longer you wear the whitening gel each day, the faster the whitening will happen. The fastest whitening will happen if you can wear the trays overnight while you sleep. If that is too difficult for you, then just see how long you can tolerate the trays during the day. Whitening four hours a day will get your teeth whiter much faster than whitening 30 minutes a day.
One thing that does concern me is why your dentist could not answer these questions. These are pretty basic. In fact, teeth whitening is one of the most basic of the cosmetic procedures. You are getting a dental crown on a visible tooth. I am concerned your dentist does not have the cosmetic skills necessary to make this look right.
At the very least you need to get his assurance that he will first let you see the crown in your mouth with a temporary try-in paste AND if you don’t like it, that he will send it back and make the changes necessary to ensure you have a crown you will be happy to wear and show with your smile.
This blog is brought to you by Enfield Dentist Dr. William Cummiskey.