Teeth that have had root canal treatments often darken with time.  Back teeth are often crowned to protect the weakened tooth structure so that this discoloration is not important, but front teeth often are not crowned and can look darker than adjacent teeth.  Often times these teeth are crowned or veneered to make them match adjacent teeth, however Nonvital tooth bleaching is another option.

The procedure for nonvital bleaching can be done in one of three ways:

  • The filling in the back of the tooth is removed and  the rootcanal area is sealed with cenent.  Thirty percent hydrogen peroxide is placed in side the tooth with a pleget of cotton and heat is applied with a hot dental instrument.  This treatment is done repeatedly until the tooth is noticably lightened.  To get a pleasing result .
  • The filling in the back of the tooth is removed and the rootcanal area is sealed with a dental with cenent,  The patient is instructed to wear their bleaching stints at night and fill the reservoir fpr the nonvital tooth with their home bleaching gel so that it will go both inside and outside of the tooth to be lightened.  The tooth will gradually lighten.
  • The filling in the back off the tooth is removed and the root canal area is sealed with cement. The dentist places a mixture of 30 percent peroxide and sodium perborate inside and seals it in with composite.  The patient comes back in several days for the dentist to remove the solution and either reapply it or replace the permanent filling.  (This  is called a walking bleaching procedure)  Although this procedure used to be more popular, It is not used as often as it has been reported to occasionally be associated with bone loss adjacent to the tooth.

It should be noted that nonvital bleaching does not always provide sufficient bleaching and often the patient does go ahead and have their tooth restored with a porcelain veneer or crown.