Whitening Before Getting a Crown

I’m getting a dental crown on a visible tooth and want to whiten my teeth before settling on the crown’s color. I’m having trouble getting information on a few things. As a result, I have a few questions. First, I need to know how many days to whiten? Then, how long each day? Finally, does it matter if there is a time lapse between when I finish whitening and when I get the crown or can it be done immediately?


Dear Mercy,

Teeth Whitening trays

I’m a little worried about this dentist doing your dental crown, which we’ll get into in a moment. The questions about your whitening are fairly easy to deal with, so let’s do those first.

How Long Do You Whiten?

This is going to sound like a “duh”, but the more days you whiten, the whiter they will get. One of the benefits of take-home professional teeth whitening is the control you have over the level of whiteness you get.

I suggest wearing the trays for as long as you can comfortably tolerate. As long as you do a minimum of twenty minutes, the gel will get into your teeth. Then, it is just a matter of doing it the number of days to get them however white you prefer.

Now, the third question has a more concrete answer. Teeth whitening is accomplished by releasing tiny bubbles of pure oxygen in your teeth. Even after you stop the whitening, there will still be bubbles releasing. If you give it a week, that will be enough time to get a true picture of what you tooth color will be.

Should This Dentist Do Your Crown?

As I mentioned earlier, these are fairly easy questions to answer. While some procedures, such as porcelain veneers require some expertise, the principles of teeth whitening are pretty standard and every dentist should know them. The fact that yours doesn’t has me concerned that he will be even more out of his depth with your crown.

I’m sure he’ll get a good functioning crown for you, but you said it is for a visible tooth. If he is a strictly engineering type of dentist, he may not be able to get it to match your adjacent teeth well enough.

Before going through with this procedure, I would look at his smile gallery to see if the crowns he’s done on front teeth to make sure you think they perfectly blend in with the adjacent teeth before going through with it.

He may not have a smile gallery. If that is the case, then just be sure he lets you get a look of the crown on before it is permanently bonded. This way you can see that it matches.

This blog is brought to you by Baton Rouge Dentist Dr. Steven Collins.