Your teeth are an important part of your appearance, which is why dental imperfections can have a profound affect on self-esteem. Two common complaints about dental appearance are discolored teeth and missing teeth. Fortunately, dental implants can help you repair a missing tooth. Fighting discoloration, especially with implants, may require a bit more planning. The following guide can help you determine the best course of action.

Should you get the implant first?

The implant itself is no more than the metal post that is inserted into the jawbone. It is fine to have this installed prior to whitening. What you will want to wait on is the crown, which is the fake tooth that is placed on the post. Your dentist will have the crown made so that it matches your natural tooth color. If your teeth are discolored, undergoing whitening treatments first ensures that the dentist matches the crown to the desired tooth color, not the former discoloration.

Can you continue whitening procedures after the crown is placed?

Yes, but keep in mind that the color of the crown is not likely to change drastically. Whitening procedures in the future should be undertaken to match the color of your natural teeth to the color of the crown. Since the crown was made to match your teeth in peak color, this means that going forward it will provide the baseline color for all further whitening treatments.

Are at home treatments safe with an implant?

Ultimately, you should consult with your dentist. Bleaching treatments for home use are generally weaker than those used by a dentist, so they are likely safe to use but they may not allow you to match your teeth to the implant crown. Avoid treatments that contain abrasives, though. Not only can these damage your natural teeth, they may also damage the implant.

What if the implant crown becomes discolored?

Implant crowns are usually made of a porcelain resin, which makes them nearly impervious to stains. If you notice discoloration on a crown, the cause may actually be from tartar and plaque buildup. This buildup can appear yellow, brown, or even black. Keep in mind that implant crowns will need regular cleaning by a hygienist just like your natural teeth to prevent this buildup. Home whitening treatments will not fade discoloration from plaque buildup, either, so make sure you keep up with your regular cleaning appointments.

For more help with managing tooth whitening with implants, contact a dentist in your area.