When the nerve inside your tooth becomes
non-vital(dead) the tooth often undergoes a colour change. This is very noticeable when
the tooth is a front tooth. Normal teeth whitening applied from the outside(as in
tray whitening) will not have a noticeable
The tooth needs to be whitened from the inside out. This
internal whitening or walking bleach usually takes place by a dentist
placing the whitening agent inside the tooth and close it with a temporary restoration.
Then tooth then whitens over a couple of days while the patient is on the go. The whitening
can be exchange a couple of times and finally the tooth is sealed off with a permanent
Why does a tooth become
Any damage to the vital nerve tissue can result
in irreversable damage. Common causes of nerve damage
Often the patient will have a
history of a childhood accident
even many years prior to the colour change.
(examples include: sporting accident, fell in bathtub etc.)88
Previous tooth decay or tooth abscess can lead to
discolouration of the tooth.
* Root treatment
Root canal treatment is usually the treatment
to clean the
infected tooth, but the tooth stays non-vital and will still result
The dentist will examine the tooth and an x-ray
is necessary to inspect the root for possible
If root treatment has not been
performed this will be the next step. This will ensure all the infection is gone and even
that the tooth is now 'dead', it is still durable and strong to last many years to come.
A small opening is made at the back of the front tooth to place the 'walking bleach' solution/gel.
The area is sealed with a temporary restoration and the patient is left for a couple of days for
the whitening to take effect. (walking bleach)
This process can be repeated a few times depending on the level of whiteness needed. Finally the
gel is removed and a final restoration is placed to seal the
Will the tooth fade
Beacause the tooth is non-vital, it
can gradually darkens over time again and the walking bleach procedure could be repeated
this tooth is non-vital, the dentist can also decide to strenghten the tooth with a crown to