break any teeth, her left front tooth is getting darker with time because the toot nerve is dying. Fortunately, the tooth does not hurt. My daughter is now 14 years old, and her pediatric dentist referred us to an endodontist who recommends root canal treatment to save the tooth. The endodontist uses some new technology that is easier than a traditional root canal. The endodontist says that we do not need to treat the tooth right away. We have some time but should watch it closely to ensure it is not getting dark too quickly. Have you heard of Gentlwave technology and whether it will improve tooth color? I’m also wondering if we will need to see a cosmetic dentist for internal tooth bleaching. Thank you. Ashleigh.
Thank you for choosing our office for your question.
If your daughter injured her tooth years ago, either the tooth nerve died soon afterward, or it recovered. A gray tooth usually means that the nerve has been dead for a whole. But if your daughter’s tooth is not infected, it is unlikely that it needs root canal treatment. Still, it is good that your daughter’s pediatric dentist referred you to a specialist.
GentleWave® vs. Traditional Root Canal Treatment
Dental literature often praises GentleWave as an alternative to traditional endodontic treatment. Gentlweave dissolve soft tissue inside a tooth with sodium hypochlorite activated with sonic energy. Although the treatment could light a tooth slightly, the procedure is too fast to remain inside the tooth long enough for significant bleaching.
Internal Tooth Bleaching After Root Canal Treatment
Internal tooth bleaching after root canal treatment is often necessary if a dentist leaves root canal filling material and cement behind. The material left in the pulp chamber—a portion of your tooth above the gumline—can make a tooth turn considerably darker. A dentist must take care to clean that part of the tooth. And if needed, the dentist can seal in a bleaching solution to lighten tooth color. If the bleached tooth matches your surrounding teeth, your dentist can restore the tooth, perhaps placing a fiberglass post into the tooth and filling the space with composite. Otherwise, a porcelain veneer can correct tooth color.
Although some dentists may choose a ceramic crown, the aggressive tooth preparation for a crown can weaken a tooth and increase the risk of it breaking.
If you choose internal bleaching, we recommend an expert cosmetic dentist. And if the tooth requires further whitening, the cosmetic dentist can perfectly match a porcelain veneer to her natural teeth.
David Finley, DDS, of Monroe, LA, sponsors this post.