When Is Internal Bleaching Appropriate?

Root canals were once a dreaded procedure, but advanced techniques and better pain control have made the procedure remarkably common. In many instances, a root canal is the best way to keep your tooth. 

However, one drawback to having a root canal is that your tooth may darken or yellow following the procedure. Dr. Robert Scott Nance and his talented staff can help. Internal bleaching is a technique that works, even when conventional whitening methods don’t. 

Why your tooth darkens

When you have a root canal, Dr. Nance must create an opening in your tooth so that he can remove the infected pulp. That leaves your tooth vulnerable to contaminants like blood, bateria, or saliva. 

Those contaminants begin breaking down inside your tooth, and that’s what causes the darker coloration you can see in the mirror. The best way to correct the discoloration is with internal bleaching. 

Because the discoloration is happening inside your tooth, external bleaching won’t fix the issue. Internal bleaching is a minor surgery that allows Dr. Nance access to the inside of your tooth so that he can lighten it. 

The difference between internal and external bleaching

The products that you commonly see advertised for teeth whitening aren’t the same as internal bleaching. Even professional teeth whitening is a different process than internal bleaching. 

Internal bleaching is only for teeth that have changed color because of a root canal, which is sometimes called a devitalized tooth. 

External bleaching works on the outside surface of your teeth, and can be done at home or in a dentist’s office. 

Bleaching the inside of your tooth

Before you have internal bleaching, you need a consultation. You meet with Dr. Nance so that he can determine the reason your tooth is discolored. 

If his assessment shows that your tooth is healthy, he may recommend internal bleaching to correct the discoloration. The first step is to record the color of your tooth so that he can use that as a benchmark to record progress. 

During the procedure, Dr. Nance isolates your discolored tooth and places a rubber dam in your mouth to prevent any further contamination. Then, he administers anesthetic so that you remain comfortable during the procedure. 

Once you’re comfortable, Dr. Nance creates an opening in your tooth so that he can remove the decayed material that is causing the discoloration. Then, he applies a bleaching agent, which remains in your tooth for two to three days. 

During a follow-up appointment, Dr. Nance removes the bleaching agent, assesses your progress, and decides if you need an additional bleaching treatment.

Minimal risk

Any surgical procedure carries some risk. Internal bleaching is very safe, but you should be aware that some patients do experience slight discomfort or pain caused by the bleaching agent. We’ll give you thorough instructions on what to do and how to contact us if that happens. 

Regain confidence in your smile

A root canal is never an elective procedure. If you have it done, it’s because your tooth is damaged or decayed and in danger of being lost. No one who is getting a root canal is thinking about possible discoloration later, even though it’s a possibility. 

Dr. Robert Scott Nance and our team want you to enjoy outstanding oral health and to feel confident in your appearance. Knowing that your smile is as beautiful helps you feel great about how you look. If you have discoloration, we can help. 

Schedule an appointment today. Call our Statesville or Hickory, North Carolina location and find out how we can help.

You Might Also Enjoy...

Complications of Untreated Gum Disease

Recognizing the early signs of gum disease can help you avoid painful complications and extra visits to the dentist. From bad breath to bleeding gums, it’s vital that you react quickly to the progression of gum disease before it leads to tooth loss.

Am I a Candidate for an Apicoectomy?

Most of the time, a root canal is the only treatment needed for infection and decay in the interior of a tooth. But if your infection and pain persist, you might need an apicoectomy to relieve your condition and save your tooth.

Effective Treatments for a Cracked Tooth

If a cold drink or biting sends a shock of pain into one of your teeth, it could be a sign of a cracked tooth or another dental problem. Even if your pain is intermittent, you should get it checked out before the situation worsens.

How to Prevent (Another) Root Canal

Your teeth are important, for lots of reasons. That’s probably why you decided to have that first root canal — to save your tooth. In this post, we discuss how you can protect your teeth and avoid having another root canal.

Why You Shouldn’t Ignore Tooth Trauma

While teeth are meant to last a lifetime, they’re not indestructible. Despite proper oral care, injuries to your teeth, called tooth trauma, can cause serious damage or loss. Find out how treating tooth trauma can help protect your oral health.