Teeth whitening is a common procedure in general dentistry but especially so in the field of cosmetic dentistry. There are different types of teeth whitening including in office and at home options like the use of teeth whitening strips. But did you know there was a procedure available to perform a deeper teeth whitening from the inside of the tooth out? This procedure is commonly known as internal teeth whitening or internal bleaching. Internal bleaching is used to lighten a discolored tooth that has had root canal treatment.
Internal bleaching is a more conservative option compared to restoration with veneers or crowns, but is sometimes used to lighten teeth before the application of these techniques to prevent the discoloration of the natural tooth from showing through. In addition, porcelain veneers or crowns may be required not only to achieve improved color, but also to strengthen a root canal treated tooth.
How is Internal Bleaching Performed?
Internal bleaching is a dentistry technique that is used to lighten the color or whiten the appearance of a tooth or teeth. Internal bleaching is only to be done under the direct supervision of a dentist. This is because the procedure involves inserting a chemical oxidizing agent directly into the tooth.
The internal bleaching procedure is performed on a non vital tooth that has received root canal treatment. The root canal treatment could have been the result of infection or dental trauma. Whatever the reason, the tooth in question did not require a crown and has maintained its natural tooth structure. When a tooth dies or becomes non vital it loses the blood and nutrient flow to it. This sometimes results in a changing of tooth color to a darker shade than the surrounding teeth.
Following completion of root canal treatment, the dentist will place a chemical oxidizing agent into the chamber of the tooth and leave it there for about 2 weeks time. This process can be done a few times over that 2-3 week period until the tooth achieves the level of whiteness desired by dentist and patient. Once the color is correct, the opening is sealed closed with a white tooth colored composite filling to keep out foreign matter and bacteria that could cause further problems.
Internal bleaching may be used by itself for whitening teeth or in combination with exterior teeth whitening products. Your dentist will evaluate the current condition of the teeth and determine if it is necessary to make use of two different kinds of teeth whitening procedures at the same time. When it is decided to use both products at the same time, the dentist will choose two products that are compatible to one another so that they do not interact poorly with one another. If chosen incorrectly, the interaction between the two bleaching products could ultimately damage the teeth they are designed to treat.
How well does Internal Bleaching work?
Internal bleaching is very effective for whitening teeth that have been damaged by trauma or infection. The process allows the dentist to focus on one tooth to raise its level of whiteness back to the level of the other teeth to give a more natural appearance overall.
Internal Bleaching Conclusion
Anyone who has had a tooth turn color after receiving root canal treatment can understand the difference between natural, undamaged, tooth structure, and dark, non-vital, tooth discoloration. While internal bleaching is very specific in it’s applications, it is an easy choice for someone with a dark front tooth. Internal bleaching is a great tool for cosmetic dentists to restore one or more teeth back to their natural white condition. It is a fairly simple procedure with great reward. If you have a tooth that does not whiten as all the others do, ask your dentist about internal whitening, and see if this is an option for you.
© 2013, Marielaina Perrone DDS. All rights reserved. Henderson Teeth Whitening
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