Maintaining an overall white teeth can be quite challenging as you get older. Teeth whitening is one of the most popular cosmetic dental treatments in dentistry. Sometimes, teeth whitening can be so challenging and difficult when the tooth to be whitened has been subjected to an injury before. A traumatized teeth can be difficult to whiten because it reacts quite differently to the whitening procedures when compared to a healthy teeth. Luckily, there are certain agents and procedures that are really effective for whitening traumatized teeth.
Dead tooth whitening
A dead tooth is also known as non-vital tooth. A tooth is regarded as non-vital if the living parts of its pulp are dead due to lack of blood flowing to it. When a tooth is dying or dead, it undergoes certain discolorations as more time passes. At the early stage some may appear yellow, light brown, gray and eventually turn to black. Well, the procedures involved in dead tooth whitening is quite complex. There are numerous methods and whitening agents that you can choose from to whiten a dead tooth.
Although, it’s not all the whitening treatments that works for patients with dead tooth. Depending on the method and the agent used, the results may be successful or a failure. Before the end of this article, I will reveal to you some of the working treatments procedures for whitening a dead tooth.
How It’s Done
This are some of the things that you should expect at the dentist office during the whitening procedure. During a tooth lightening process at the dentist office, the first thing that the dentist will do is to exam the tooth in order to find out what’s causing the dark staining. A radiographic examination (x-ray) is needed to make sure that the surrounding bone is in a healthy state. The x-ray is also used to determine whether the living parts of the pulp are alive or dead. If the tooth is still vital, deep external bleaching can be used to lighten the tooth from the outside in.
Since the tooth is dead, internal whitening is usually used to whiten the tooth from the inside out. However, when dealing with a dead tooth, after the radiographic examination must have been carried out, a root canal procedure will be necessary to remove the dead or dying tissues contained within the pulp.
Dead Tooth Whitening Via Internal Bleaching
Whitening a traumatized or non-vital tooth requires special treatments since the stains are inside, rather than outside the tooth. The bleaching agent will be inserted right into the core of the tooth. There are certain clinical stages a dentist or endodontist will follows during internal bleaching. Some of the clinical stages includes:
1. Radiographic examination: the dentist will first assess your oral health and also carry out a radiographic scan on the tooth in order to make sure that it’s safe for internal bleaching. The x-ray is used to determine whether your tooth structure and the surrounding bone are in healthy condition for the treatment.
2. Pulp cleaning: if it turns out that internal whitening is the best option for you. The dentist will carry out a root canal treatment on the dead tooth in order to get rid of the dead or decayed tissues in the pulp cavity. At first, he will make a small hole at the back of the tooth in order to gain access to the core of the tooth which is known as the pulp chamber. The pulp space would be cleaned of any debris and stain, the debris from the chamber must be removed and rinsed away thoroughly.
3. Root sealing: at the stage, all the debris from the pulp chamber must have been removed. The main aim of sealing the tooth root is to prevent the bleaching agent from leaking into the tooth’s root. To achieve this, a special cement is applied directly on the top end of the root canal filling. The application of the sealant provides protection to tooth roots from the bleaching agent.
4. Application of bleaching agent: at this point, a suitable bleaching agent will be placed into the core of the tooth using a fine tube through the opening at the back of the tooth. The bleaching agent will be placed in the empty pulp chamber, and then temporarily sealed in. In dentistry, sodium perborate is a popular, effective bleaching agent that is widely used in internal bleaching. Once the sodium perborate has been placed into the tooth, the tooth will be sealed in order to prevent leakage of the bleaching agent into the mouth. The sealant will also keep bacteria from getting into the tooth.
5. The procedure is repeated: depending on the level of your tooth discolouration, your dentist may need to repeat the whitening treatment every four to three days. However, after the first visit, you will have to return in a few days for another round of bleaching. In most cases, it takes up to four visits in order to attain the desired level of whiteness. Once the desired whiteness level has been attained, the dentist will remove the temporal seal and the bleaching agent from the inside of the tooth. The bleaching agent is mostly removed with the use of a small extraction tube.
6. Permanent restoration: after the bleaching agents must have been removed, the cavity that was created in the tooth will be filled using a tooth-colored filling material, of composite resin. The tiny hole that was created at the back of the tooth will also be sealed off permanently.
Dead tooth whitening is indeed possible via internal bleaching. Normally, a dead tooth is usually discolored, it can be yellow, gray or black. Unlike normal tooth stains, the stains are found right inside the tooth, simple external tooth whitening procedures and remedies might not be helpful here. The best dental treatment to achieve a desired white coloration of a dead or traumatized tooth is internal bleaching.
At first, a root canal procedure may be necessary, the aim of undergoing a root canal is to remove the dead or dying tissue and prevent infection. If at the end of the day, that it turned out that you are not getting the desired results with internal bleaching, you may want to consider a permanent tooth-colored external covering. After the root canal treatment, the dentist can restore the beauty of your smile in another permanent way by installing a dental crown over the tooth.
In addition, If you are still considering whether to save the tooth or go for an extraction, I have a guide for you. In previous article, I addressed a common question that most patients do ask when it comes to saving a dead tooth. You can read the post here – Saving a dead tooth, Root Canal or Extraction.