Internal Bleaching of Dead Teeth: What You Need to Know
Modern cosmetic dentistry provides a range of tooth whitening services, but whitening dead teeth can still pose a problem. However, a treatment called internal bleaching may provide a solution. Below is a guide to everything you need to know about the internal bleaching of dead teeth.
When you undergo a procedure such as a root canal, your dentist will remove the soft inner pulp of the tooth. This causes the blood supply to the tooth to cease, and the tooth will die. As the tooth dies, the inner tissues of the tooth can darken. This darkening is sometimes visible beneath the outer layer of enamel on the tooth.
Traditional tooth whitening treatments will have little effect on dead teeth. This is because they are designed to whiten the outside of your teeth and not the internal tissues. Internal bleaching much more effective, as it is intended to whiten the inner pulp of your dead tooth.
Your dentist will first assess your oral health and may carry out radiographic scans to make sure you are a suitable candidate for internal bleaching. If you are, they will drill a small hole into the back of the dead tooth, near to where the gum line and the root of the tooth meet. Drilling in this location will ensure that the resulting opening is discreet.
The dentist will then insert a bleaching agent into the core of the tooth using a fine tube placed in the opening. The whitening agent typically used is sodium perborate, which is non-toxic.
Once the inner core of the dead tooth is filled with the bleaching agent, your dentist will seal the cavity using a small resin cap. This cap will stop any of the bleaching agents from leaking back into your mouth and will keep bacteria from getting in.
Depending on the level of discolouration, your dentist may have to repeat the treatment in order to attain the desired level of whiteness, which means you may have to complete the treatment over a period of days or weeks. Once you are happy with the new, lighter shade of the dead tooth, your dentist will reattach the tube and remove the bleaching agent from the inside of the tooth. They will then seal the cavity they created in the tooth using an epoxy resin material.
If you have any concerns about your dental health or would like further advice or information about internal bleaching, talk to a cosmetic dentist in your area.