Internal Bleaching: Dr Nik
There are a number of reasons why teeth lose their luster. It could be because of external staining from food and beverages and could also be nicotine stains from smoking. These external staining is normally seen as generalized staining on several teeth. These types of stains can easily be removed by doing normal scaling and polishing and in certain cases where patients want their teeth to be in lighter and whiter shade, professional dental whitening can be done.
Apart from external staining , there’s also staining of teeth from the inside. We call this internal staining. The most common cause of this type of staining is because the tooth had changes in the pulp area and was root treated or root filled (root canal treatment done). The tooth will gradually become darker in shade.
Regardless of the cause, there are still opportunities to restore such a tooth to match the colour of its adjacent teeth, by bleaching the tooth from the inside out- a process known as ‘internal bleaching’.
Individual internal bleaching can be a very effective method of lightening the appearance of unsightly dark shadowing on teeth that had been traumatized and root filled (root canal treatment done) in the past.
The treatment involves placement of a whitening agent into the pulp chamber of the discoloured root treated tooth and a filling is placed to prevent it from leaking out. The whitening agent is left in the pulp chamber for 5-7 days and the treatment can be repeated until successful whitening becomes apparent. This normally occurs after one to four visits depending on severity of the discolouration.
Once the desired shade is achieved, the tooth is ready for next stage of treatment plan usually either veneer or crown.