Over-the-counter teeth whitening products, and even professional teeth whitening procedures, are great at removing stains from the surface of the tooth, whether from foods, beverages, or some medications. But what about stains that hide deep within the tooth structure?
Traditional topical teeth bleaching treatments are not formulated to whiten a tooth that has been damaged or has infected tooth pulp. Sometimes, a dark tooth is one that has previously had endodontic therapy. Often, this tooth will stand out among the rest as a “dead tooth.” With internal teeth bleaching, it is possible to save the tooth by restoring its health and removing the discoloration from the inside out.
If the tooth in question needs endodontic treatment, your endodontist will first perform a root canal to remove any infected pulp. For a tooth that has already been treated endodontically, the protective filling simply needs to be removed. Then, a safe bleaching compound is placed inside the tooth, directly on the areas that are stained. This material reacts with stains and dissolves their particles, restoring the tooth to its natural shade of white. After the procedure, your tooth will be sealed with a new filling to prevent further damage.
Of course, the best way to maintain your bright, white smile after an internal bleaching procedure is to practice good home hygiene, visit your general dentist for checkups and professional cleanings, and avoid foods and drinks that can discolor your pearly whites.