When it comes to cosmetic dental treatments, teeth whitening is the most popular because it offers a simple, safe, and effective way for you to achieve a better smile. However, the teeth whitening procedure can be more challenging depending on the condition of the teeth. Traumatized teeth, due to sports injury, automobile accident, or other trauma, may react differently to whitening treatments than teeth unaffected by trauma.
Tooth Pulp Determines Procedure
There are two procedures available to whiten traumatized teeth, each specialized to the unique trauma your teeth have suffered. The first step is to evaluate the traumatized teeth to see if the pulp inside the teeth still lives. X-rays or other tests can determine this. If the pulp is alive, your dentist can perform a normal external bleaching of your teeth.
At times, discoloration may indicate an underlying problem in the teeth, such as irreversible damage or death to the pulp. Before any whitening treatments can occur, the pulp will need to be removed through a root canal procedure. Once you have healed, your dentist can perform internal bleaching of your teeth.
Your dentist will begin by first making a small hole in the back of your tooth, to gain access to the pulp chamber. Extra debris will be rinsed away before your dentist adds a special cement that will prevent the whitening agent from reaching the roots. The whitening agent is then put into the space and sealed shut. You will need to come back to your dentist a few more times to repeat this procedure until you gain the tooth shade desired. Once the tooth has been whitened to your satisfaction, a dental restoration, such as a tooth-colored filling, is placed over the hole originally created in the tooth.
If you are unsatisfied with the discoloration of your teeth due to a trauma, talk to your dentist about your options. External bleaching may be enough to whiten your teeth, but if not, internal bleaching may be your best option to gain the bright, white smile you desire.