I went through a serious depression a couple of years ago and stopped taking care of myself entirely. I’m back to my normal self again, and I’m trying to update my appearance so I can feel better about the way I look. I wanted to do Zoom Whitening, but it was out of my budget and I wasn’t ready to go to the dentist yet. So, I started using one of those home systems you can buy online. I’ve been using it daily for a few months and my teeth are brighter, but I have a tiny filling on one tooth that didn’t change and it looks funny. Now I’m thinking I’ll have to have Zoom Whitening done. I’d like to go whiter, but if there’s a way to fix this at home for now, I’d really rather do that. Any suggestions?
Melissa in Kentucky
Glad to hear you’re doing better. Unfortunately, there isn’t tooth whitening available anywhere that will change the color of a filling – not even Zoom Whitening in the dental office. The color of a filling is permanent, and the only way to correct it is to have the old filling removed, and to replace it with a new one in a lighter shade.
On a side note, it sounds like you’ve been using the home kit quite a bit, probably more than the instructions call for. Some of the weak ones are safe to use daily, but stronger varieties can cause issues when you use them too much. The biggest complaints are chronic tooth pain, gum irritation, and discolored enamel. If you’re having any of these issues, you should stop treatment right away, because the tooth pain will get worse and can cause permanent damage. Some people also report uneven color, which is somewhat common with the systems you can use at home. Again, though, this depends on the strength of the product you are using.
For the best results, it’s a good idea to go and have a consultation with your dentist. Any kind of whitening system works better on clean teeth, and it’s certainly wise to have a checkup. Plus, the doctor will be able to evaluate your progress and help you troubleshoot any issues you are having. If you want to go brighter and the regular in-office system is out of your reach financially, you can have custom trays made with professional-strength solution for a fraction of the price.