Internal Bleaching

Professional teeth whitening and internal bleaching are two different procedures, but they are meant to achieve the same result. This result is none other than to make teeth appear whiter. However, these two processes differ from each other.


Professional teeth whitening is called external bleaching. The most common methods of teeth whitening are in-office tooth whitening and take-home whitening treatments, and these usually target multiple teeth, lightening all of the targeted teeth.


Internal bleaching is used to lighten a single tooth that is discolored and has had prior root canal therapy. These teeth have typically suffered some degree of trauma previously, which led to internal bleeding and subsequent discoloration.  Since the source of staining originated from within the tooth, a special internal bleaching technique must be performed.  This procedure is specific to a single tooth. External bleaching using trays or lasers will have no effect on this variation of tooth staining.  


Internal Bleaching is usually performed by our doctors after successful endodontic (root canal) therapy has removed the damaged pulp tissue. The discolored tooth is accessed from the back. Oxidizing agents are placed within the coronal tooth structure and left in place for 1-2 weeks. This process can be repeated to eventually achieve the desired outcome of lightening the tooth. A permanent restoration such as a filling will be required after the internal bleaching procedure.


Below depicts a successful before and after internal bleaching of an actual patient's teeth.


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