Your teeth can change color due to natural aging, cavities, staining foods and drinks, staining from dental restorations, deadening of the pulp, or trauma. The color changes can occur gradually or rapidly over time. Color changes can range from yellow, gray or pink.
What is the difference between external bleaching and internal bleaching?
Tooth whitening can be performed externally or internally on natural teeth only. External whitening treatments can whiten the outer layer of teeth and can penetrate deep into the dental hard tissues. External bleaching agents contain the active ingredient carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide at various concentrations. External whitening treatments can include in-office bleaching procedures, high grade take-home bleaching kits supplied by your dentist, and over-the-counter teeth bleaching agents. Typically external bleaching options are available at your general dental office.
Internal bleaching is the process of whitening a tooth from the inside out. Unlike traditional tooth whitening, where whitening agents are applied to the outside of the tooth, internal bleaching is completed from the inside and works outward. Bleaching from within, allows the bleaching process to whiten areas that would not be reached with external bleaching techniques. In order for internal bleaching to be possible, root canal therapy must be performed on the tooth first. Internal bleaching is typically offered by Endodontists following root canal therapy.
Internal bleaching typically will take 2-4 additional short appointments at weekly intervals until the tooth reaches a satisfactory level of whitening. It is important to note that internal bleaching may not be able to eliminate all staining. In some rare instances, the tooth may whiten more than what is desired. Your restoring dentist may decide a crown is indicated in order to match the color of the surrounding teeth.
If you are interested in internal bleaching for your tooth, call our office to see if this is the right treatment for you!