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Can You Whiten A Dead Tooth?

Aug 14, 2023Oral health

Can You Whiten A Dead Tooth?

For many individuals, accepting a dead tooth can be challenging. Teeth can die as a result of traumatic injuries or due to decay, and even though a root canal is able to spare a dead tooth from extraction, it will still appear dull and discolored.

Having a dull, discolored tooth can be an impediment to feeling confident about one’s smile. In such a situation, one may need to have the tooth extracted and replaced or opt for professional teeth whitening. Fortunately, your dentist will be able to help you in restoring the whiteness of the affected tooth.

The whitening of a dead tooth depends on the source of the discoloration. In the case of healthy teeth, discoloration is typically caused by surface staining. However, in the instance of a dead tooth, the discoloration is caused by an interruption to the blood supply entering the tooth’s pulp.

When discoloration is within the enamel of a tooth, typically a more in-depth treatment is necessary to achieve the desired outcome. Dead teeth whitening treatments may include the utilization of professional-grade bleaching agents or necessitate drilling a tiny hole in the rear of the tooth to introduce a whitening substance.


Is It Necessary to Whiten a Dead Tooth?

It is a common misconception that teeth are not alive; in fact, they are composed of a combination of soft and hard tissue. The outer layer of the tooth, known as enamel, serves to protect the inner layers of the tooth, which include the softer dentin and pulp. This tissue is rich in nerve fibers and blood vessels.

In the event of an accident or advanced tooth decay, the blood vessels and nerves can no longer provide necessary nourishment to the affected tooth. If left untreated, the death of both the nerves and the blood vessels will occur, leading to discoloration due to the absence of a fresh supply of blood.

A healthy tooth typically has a white color. However, in some cases, a discolored tooth may appear light brown, yellow, black, or gray. As the tooth continues to die, the discoloration will become increasingly more vivid with time.

If the dead tooth is visible, it can be a hindrance to your overall dental aesthetics and potentially affect your confidence. Fortunately, our experienced dentists can help brighten your smile and restore it to its full beauty. Don’t let a dead tooth detract from your smile – contact our dentists today to learn more about how they can help.


Are There Alternative Options to Whitening a Dead Tooth?

It is possible that traditional methods may not provide the desired results in cases where intrinsic stains are present on a decayed tooth. In such scenarios, an alternative option is to insert a bleaching agent directly into the tooth.

Your dentist is able to access the interior of a tooth, called the pulp chamber, by making a small hole at the rear of it. The debris will then be removed and a special cement used to prevent leakage of the whitening agent – hydrogen peroxide and sodium perborate – into the root of the affected tooth.

The whitening agent will be inserted into the pulp chamber and secured in place temporarily. Following the procedure, you will be able to have discharge, however, a follow-up appointment is required in a few days for re-application.

Once the desired color has been achieved, a permanent restoration material will be applied to seal the small hole in the back of your tooth.

If more whitening is needed, combining this product with external bleaching may be an effective solution.

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