Internal Teeth Whitening and External Teeth Whitening

2010 October 14
by Asha Sood

Teeth whitening or dental bleaching should always be carried out by a cosmetic dentist.The tooth whitening procedure involves the application of a chemical whitening agent to the teeth. The chemical agent oxidises the discolouring molecule which is causing the teeth to appear darkened and discoloured, thereby whitening the teeth in a non-reversible and ‘permanent’ manner.

There are two types of teeth whitening processes – external and internal:

External teeth whitening:

This is when the whitening agent is applied to the teeth, either by the dentist or by an individual using a home whitening kit to whiten the teeth.

It usually involves wearing a tray or mouthguard containing the whitening agent over the teeth to be bleached.

Internal teeth whitening:

A tooth can become discoloured when the nerve and/or blood vessels inside it are either traumatised or they die. Often, root canal treatment is required to treat the tooth to save it although this treatment will not be able to change the colour of the tooth if it has become discoloured.

Internal bleaching can be carried out in situations like these, following the root canal treatment, in order to restore the colour of the damaged tooth.

This treatment involves the bleaching agent being sealed inside the affected tooth for about a week until the required lightening results are achieved.

Internal and external teeth whitening treatment are often combined to lighten and whiten discoloured, non-vital teeth (where the nerve has been removed), following root canal treatment.

The results are usually very effective.

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