Teeth Whitening vs. Internal Bleaching

Are you embarrassed about how yellow your teeth look in photos? Have you given up your favorite red lipstick because it makes your teeth look decrepit? Maybe it’s time to consider professional teeth whitening. But what treatment is right for you? 

Let’s put this out there right away — if you want to whiten your teeth, make an appointment with a professional. Over-the-counter teeth whitening kits aren’t that effective and can actually damage your tooth enamel. Additionally, some tooth discoloration doesn’t respond to topical bleaching treatments, and you’ll need an internal bleaching treatment.

Internal bleaching? What’s that?

Internal bleaching is a surgical treatment to reduce discoloration from the inside of your tooth. Here at Charlotte Root Canal Center in Charlotte, North Carolina, we offer internal bleaching to brighten devitalized teeth. (Devitalized teeth have undergone root canal treatment.) 

You may also need internal bleaching to brighten your smile if your tooth discoloration is due to dental trauma.

What’s the difference between teeth whitening and internal bleaching?

Teeth whitening treatments and internal bleaching use different approaches to reduce discoloration on different parts of your teeth. 

Teeth whitening

During a teeth whitening treatment, you apply a hydrogen peroxide-based gel to your teeth to lift surface stains. You can choose rapid, in-office teeth whitening procedures or take-home trays that you can use in the comfort of your own home. 

Internal bleaching

Our expert endodontist, Ramesh Sunar, DMD, provides internal bleaching treatments to reduce discoloration from inside your teeth. After preparing your tooth for internal bleaching by numbing your tooth and surrounding tissue, and placing a dental dam over your neighboring teeth, he makes a small hole in the back of your tooth. 

Dr. Sunar then extracts the discolored tissue and puts a small amount of a bleaching agent inside of your tooth. Finally, he seals your tooth. 

The bleaching agent stays in place for 2-3 days, and then you have a follow-up appointment. We remove the bleaching solution from inside your tooth and check the lightening process. You may need to repeat the internal bleaching process a couple of times to achieve your desired results. 

When you’ve lightened your teeth to the desired shade, we fill and seal your tooth to protect it from bacteria and future decay. Depending on your needs, we may also provide topical teeth whitening treatments to remove surface stains as well as deep, internal discoloration. 

How do I know which teeth bleaching treatment is right for me?

The best way to know what type of treatment you need to lighten your teeth is to make an appointment with us. We provide comprehensive exams to identify the type of discoloration that’s marring your smile as well as the best treatments to lift stains and restore your healthy, white grin. 

Often, internal tooth staining is due to a prior root canal that allowed saliva, blood, or bacteria to enter and stain the inside of your tooth.

Additionally, your internal staining could be due to internal tooth decay. In this case, we may need to perform another root canal to remove all the decayed and discolored tissue from the interior of your tooth before starting the internal bleaching process. 

We know that the appearance of your smile, as well as your dental health, are critical to your well-being and self-confidence. If you’re concerned about tooth discoloration, tooth pain, or other dental issues, give us a call at 980-289-0669, send us a message here on our website, or request an appointment online today. 

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