Internal Tooth Bleaching

I had root canal treatments on my 3 front teeth when I was 14. Since then the dead teeth have started to discolor. I asked my dentist what I can do to get these teeth whiter and he told me my only option was to have crowns put on them which I did.

Since then, I have looked online and saw that I could have just had those teeth internally bleached instead of crowned to get them whiter. They have never given me any trouble or pain in the past. Is it standard procedure for a dentist to not offer internal or zoom bleaching as an option to whiten those teeth instead of the expensive crowns? I would have just had that done if it had been an option!

—Amber from Oregon

Amber,

Yes, internal bleaching could have been done. Would it have looked good? Probably not. You didn’t say how old you are, but if you had these root canal treatments when you were fourteen, and you are now at least in your mid-twenties, the stain could have been pretty ingrained, and internal bleaching would probably not have been good enough. You would have gotten the teeth lighter, but I doubt you would have been happy with how they looked. They would not have matched your other teeth.

So is it a standard procedure for the dentist to not offer the internal bleaching as an option? I would say yes, very few dentists would have mentioned that, because it is unlikely the results would be satisfactory.

Dr. Hall

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