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Some tooth disorders can impact the color of a tooth from the inside out. Unlike staining from coffee, wine or tobacco, deep discolorations are caused from tissue inside the tooth that darken the dentin in the tooth. No amount of whitening from the outside will brighten a dark tooth that has discolored dentin. The best solution is internal bleaching to restore a whiter tooth from the inside out.

What Causes Interior Tooth Discoloration?

The most common cause of interior tooth discoloration is from a tooth infection. Most teeth that are deeply discolored either need root canal therapy or already had the treatment performed. There are materials that can seep into the dentin from the canals that can cause discolorations. In some cases, the materials used in root canal therapy can darken the tooth.

Since the discoloration is inside the tooth and not just staining the enamel, regular teeth whitening products do not work on this type of problem. To change the color of the tooth, you have two options: cover the tooth or bleach the interior of the tooth. A dental crown or porcelain veneer can be used to cover the tooth and provide a whiter tooth aesthetic. Another option is internal bleaching, an endodontics procedure, which we offer at First Smile Family Dental.

How Does Internal Bleaching Work?

To bleach the dentin in the tooth that has had a prior root canal, a small hole is drilled into the tooth and a pellet containing a bleaching agent is inserted inside. This bleaching pellet remains in the tooth for a few weeks, then the tooth is checked for progress to determine if it requires further bleaching. For teeth that need root canal therapy, the root canal can be performed first, then the internal bleaching agent added during the procedure.

Internal bleaching can be very effective, and it is minimally-invasive. Since teeth with discolorations usually have the nerve roots removed, there is no pain or sensitivity caused by the procedure. While we offer both dental crowns and veneers for those who prefer this method to whiten their tooth, internal bleaching is less invasive and an affordable option.

Not all dentists offer internal bleaching, but it is a treatment we offer at First Smile Family Dental. If you have a dark or discolored tooth that is infected or has undergone root canal therapy, internal bleaching may be an option to restore a whiter, brighter tooth. Call our office in Federal Way to schedule an appointment for an internal tooth bleaching consultation.

Posted on behalf of First Smile Family Dental

32717 1st Ave S., Suite 9
Federal Way, WA 98003

Phone: (253) 785-7323


Mon, Fri: 8:00am - 5:00pm
Tue, Wed: 9:00am - 6:00pm
Every other Sat: 8:00am-3:00pm


Call our team today and schedule your visit.
We look forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your best smile.

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  • Susan C.

    I absolutely LOVE Dr. Nguyen! She was kind, compassionate, and exactly what I need in a dentist! She made me feel comfortable right away and genuinely cared about me as a person, AND the health of my teeth!

  • Terry H.

    From the time my husband and I walked in the door to walking out it was absolutely amazing!! The care from the receptionist to the technician to the dentist was without a doubt the most professional caring understanding staff. I am not one who enjoys the dentist but they made it so that I was very relaxed and look forward to going again.

  • Kyle G.

    Top of the line customer service from the front desk to the dental chair. Really happy with not only the doctor, but her assistant and everyone that worked there. The cleaning was expertly done, all photos and decisions were thoughtfully explained and I learned new things about my teeth that I did not know before.

  • Teo T.

    AMAZING! The best dentist I have ever been to! I felt well taken care of. I was greeted right when I walked in. The Center is very clean. Dr. Nguyen and her staff are very nice and they pay attention to detail to make sure you get the best dental care! I would definitely recommend to anyone who needs dental care to come to this place for excellent service.

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