Some tooth disorders can impact the color of a tooth from the inside out. Unlike staining from coffee, wine or tobacco, deep discolorations are caused from tissue inside the tooth that darken the dentin in the tooth. No amount of whitening from the outside will brighten a dark tooth that has discolored dentin. The best solution is internal bleaching to restore a whiter tooth from the inside out.
What Causes Interior Tooth Discoloration?
The most common cause of interior tooth discoloration is from a tooth infection. Most teeth that are deeply discolored either need root canal therapy or already had the treatment performed. There are materials that can seep into the dentin from the canals that can cause discolorations. In some cases, the materials used in root canal therapy can darken the tooth.
Since the discoloration is inside the tooth and not just staining the enamel, regular teeth whitening products do not work on this type of problem. To change the color of the tooth, you have two options: cover the tooth or bleach the interior of the tooth. A dental crown or porcelain veneer can be used to cover the tooth and provide a whiter tooth aesthetic. Another option is internal bleaching, an endodontics procedure, which we offer at First Smile Family Dental.
How Does Internal Bleaching Work?
To bleach the dentin in the tooth that has had a prior root canal, a small hole is drilled into the tooth and a pellet containing a bleaching agent is inserted inside. This bleaching pellet remains in the tooth for a few weeks, then the tooth is checked for progress to determine if it requires further bleaching. For teeth that need root canal therapy, the root canal can be performed first, then the internal bleaching agent added during the procedure.
Internal bleaching can be very effective, and it is minimally-invasive. Since teeth with discolorations usually have the nerve roots removed, there is no pain or sensitivity caused by the procedure. While we offer both dental crowns and veneers for those who prefer this method to whiten their tooth, internal bleaching is less invasive and an affordable option.
Not all dentists offer internal bleaching, but it is a treatment we offer at First Smile Family Dental. If you have a dark or discolored tooth that is infected or has undergone root canal therapy, internal bleaching may be an option to restore a whiter, brighter tooth. Call our office in Federal Way to schedule an appointment for an internal tooth bleaching consultation.