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bleaching root canal treated tooth



Nov 5, 2008
Is it ever possible that external bleaching will work on a root canal treated tooth? What about deep bleaching externally? I would rather avoid the internal bleaching initially if possible due to root resorbtion but my rct tooth is starting to darken again.
External bleaching is for external stains...if a RCT tooth is starting to darken it could be due to part of the pulp chamber left in the tooth. Research shows that if sodium perborate (rather than carbamide peroxide or hydrogen peroxide) is used as a bleaching agent the risk of resorption is greatly reduced. The best option would be to go talk to your dentist about the cause of the stain. If he/she determines that it is coming from within the tooth then external bleaching is probably not the best option (although sometimes worth trying).

EDIT: I just noticed the word "again" in your post...what is the history of that tooth? Has internal bleaching been attempted before? Was is successful?
hi decan, no i never tried internally bleaching that tooth as i want to avoid internally bleaching if possible. maybe i just think it appears like its getting darker, but the neck of the tooth seems to have gotten a bit black recently. i understand the black is internal and cannot be bleached externally. however i want to know can the main tooth which is a darker yellow that my other teeth be bleached externally. and if so why is it not possible to externally bleach rct teeth?
Did you talk to your dentist about a crown, root canaled teeth tend to get brittle and a crown will protect your tooth from breakage as well as make discoloration a non-issue?

hi rp, the endodontist specifically advised not to crown it as its a front tooth, he advised it would be better without a crown.
How long ago was that? It may be matierials like cerec and all porcelain are lighter, very natural and much less obvious now than if you had your rct a while ago.

I had a lateral incisor snap in half a few years after root canal but I also had another front tooth last over twenty years without dscoloring.

My front are all crowned now and I love them.

Hi Satcfan,
internal root resorption is an infrequent complication of internal bleaching of root canal treated teeth (unsure of the actual percentages associated with this). If it happens it is obviously of great concern.
If I am carrying out internal bleaching for a patient I will normally mention it in passing a possible complication (although it has never occurred to me or ANY of my colleagues - I would therefore think its likely-hood is low).
I would always be inclined to try this treatment on a darkened root canal treated tooth 1st i.e before veneering/crowning.
Hope that info helps you.