Dental implants are an excellent option for people with loose or missing teeth. With a permanent artificial root and dental crown, a dental implant can restore your chewing ability and smile and improve your oral health. However, you may be wondering if dental implants stain like natural teeth.
While dental implants don’t stain as easily as natural teeth, it is possible. Learn more about discoloration in dental implants and how you can prevent it to get the most out of your investment in your oral health.
Natural Teeth vs. Implants
For many people, staining and discoloration from smoking, drinking coffee, or other habits can affect the appearance of their smile and self-confidence. Natural teeth are composed of soft tissues, including the pulp and connective tissue, and the hard tissues, including the cementum, dentin, and enamel.
The dentin and enamel are the outer two layers of the tooth. Enamel is the thin outer layer covering the dentin, where the tooth’s color comes from. Because enamel is translucent, it shows the color of the dentin beneath.
Over time, habits like smoking or drinking acidic drinks like soda, coffee, and wine can seep into the enamel, causing it to stain.1 Acidic drinks also erode enamel, allowing more yellowish dentin to show through.
Dental implants have a crown that resembles a normal tooth, but it’s made of nonporous porcelain. This material does not absorb pigments like the natural tooth, so dental implants are far less likely to stain.
Can Dental Implants Stain at All?
Though dental implants have more protection against staining than natural teeth, it’s not impossible to see discoloration. Dental implants can become discolored from several causes, including:
- Damage or scratches to the crown’s glaze can cause them to look dull and collect pigments in the scratches.
- The dark root of the dental implant is visible through the gums, which may be avoided with high-quality implants from your periodontist.
Preventing and Correcting Stains on Dental Implants
Dental implants only stain in certain circumstances, but the discoloration is much easier to prevent, unlike natural teeth. Here are some tips to keep your dental implants looking their best:
- Avoid abrasive toothpaste or oral care products that can scratch the crown.
- Maintain a thorough oral hygiene routine and visit your periodontist for preventative care and cleanings.
- Limit your consumption of foods and beverages that can stain teeth, such as wine or coffee.
If your dental implants stain, it’s essential to avoid bleach or whitening products designed for natural teeth because porcelain reacts differently. These may include at-home bleaching or whitening gels or solutions, whitening toothpaste, and whitening treatments. You should also avoid tooth-whitening remedies like baking soda or activated charcoal, which are abrasive and may damage your crown.
Your periodontist can guide you in the best option for correcting discoloration in your dental implants based on the underlying cause. If the glaze becomes eroded or damaged, you can have your implant crown polished or replaced.
If the discoloration is severe or very noticeable, you may be able to have the crown replaced with one that matches your natural tooth color.
Dental Implants in Rochester
Dental implants are a permanent, long-lasting solution to missing teeth. Though dental implant crowns can become discolored over time, your periodontist can diagnose the cause of the discoloration and guide you as to the best next step
If you’re concerned or self-conscious about discoloration with your dental implants, Dental Implants & Periodontal Health of Rochester can help! Our skilled team uses the most advanced techniques and technologies to provide individualized care and optimal outcomes. Call us at 585-685-2005 to schedule your appointment!