This patient had a cavity treated and filled with a composite material in his front tooth many years ago. However, over time the composite material became discolored and the patient decided to have it retreated for a cosmetic reason.
Yes, it is safe to use external whiteners such as whitening strips on a tooth with a root canal.In some cases, however, external teeth whiteners will not work on root canal teeth at all because discoloration is mainly caused by internal factors inside the teeth. After a root canal procedure, especially on an anterior tooth, tooth discoloration sometimes occurs even if the root canal work was done properly. If you really want to whiten your root canal tooth, you will probably need internal beaching. Internal bleaching can be performed by your dentist or endodontist to whiten the darkened tooth from the inside out by placing a whitening agent deep inside the tooth. It’s important to note that there are risks associated with internal bleaching treatment such as tooth loss. You should always consult your dentist if you are concerned about discolored, root canal teeth.
You may have seen this home remedy for teeth whitening on the Internet where they show you how to mix lemon juice and baking soda, and apply the mixture to your teeth as a whitening agent, and gently brushing it off with a toothbrush. They tell you not to leave the mixture on your teeth any longer than one minute to avoid eroding your tooth enamel. While this remedy may work for some people, it’s not recommended. Although your teeth may appear to be whiter afterwards, you may have actually eroded and abraded some enamel from your teeth. Lemon juice is very acidic and will erode your enamel layer. Also, baking soda is abrasive. Once your tooth enamel has eroded, it’s gone forever. Unfortunately, we cannot regrow it at this time.
This will vary, depending on many factors such as the type of whitening system used, your eating habits, oral hygiene, the genetic characteristics of your teeth and so forth. Typically, you can expect the results to last from three months to two years. In general, professional whitening systems tend to produce longer lasting results as opposed to over-the-counter whitening solutions. Some people’s teeth remain white for over two years after receiving professional whitening treatment that uses a light-activated gel system. Unfortunately, no whitening system can whiten teeth permanently. But the good news is there are home maintenance products that you can buy at any drugstore or your dentist’s office. With proper eating habits, oral hygiene, and a good maintenance program, your teeth can stay white for many years.
Zoom! whitening procedure takes about 1.5 hours and does not require a second office visit. The procedure begins with a 20-minute preparation period where your gums and soft tissues get covered with gauze and protective materials to reduce the risk of damage to the tissues from the whitening gel and the ultra violet light. Next, the whitening gel is applied to your teeth with a brush. Then, there’s a series of four 15-minute sessions where light-accelerated whitening takes place.
Tooth stains are often the results of external factors such as drinking coffee, wine, cola, certain fruit juices, eating berries and tomato sauces, and smoking. Teeth are porous; they have microscopic holes in them. So the staining agents in your foods and beverages can seep into the enamel and dentin layers of your teeth, causing discoloration. To reduce such stains, I recommend that you brush and floss your teeth right after eating foods that can cause discoloration. If that’s not possible, you should, at least, rinse your mouth with water afterwards. In some cases, tooth discoloration occurs due to internal factors such as one’s genetic and medical conditions. And some antibiotics are known to cause teeth discoloration in children. Chemotherapy can also can affect the color of your teeth. Aging is also a factor that contributes to tooth discoloration; over time your enamel layer gets thinner, thus revealing the yellow-colored dentin layer. Certain dental procedures such as amalgam fillings and root canal can cause discoloration, too. If your tooth had a root canal done, it might look a little darker, compared to your other teeth. There are various treatment options for discolored teeth, including over-the-counter whitening strips, light-activated whitening systems, dental bonding, internal bleaching, cosmetic veneers and porcelain crowns. If you’re concerned about discolored teeth, you should consult your dentist.
Since every patient’s situation is unique, the cost of oral appliance therapy varies, based on the type of appliance prescribed and the type of insurance you have. But, generally speaking, prescription, custom-fit mandibular advancing appliances cost roughly $2000 to $4000 including dentist fees. Your medical insurance may cover some or all of the cost of the oral appliance. Your out-of-pocket cost will depend on your insurance deductible as well. It is always a good idea to check with your insurance company first.
There are basically two types of oral appliances designed to treat mild-to-moderate sleep apnea: One type is the Mandibular Advancing Appliance and the other type is the Tongue Retaining Device. Both involve keeping the tongue from blocking the airway. Between the two types, the Mandibular Advancing Appliance is more widely used.
The Mandibular Advancing Appliance is a mouthpiece that fits over the upper and lower teeth. This appliance is designed to move the lower jaw forward, thus pulling the tongue forward and opening the airway. This appliance is usually fitted and adjusted by a dentist knowledgeable about Oral Appliance Therapy. There are multiple manufactures of Mandibular Advancing Appliances. Each appliance has its unique features such as the ability to attach a CPAP machine to it to improve its effectiveness; and some appliances allow you to slightly move your lower jaw or teeth laterally. These devices may vary in design, cost, and product warranty.
There are also over-the-counter Mandibular Advancing Appliances that you can buy without going to your dentist. These nonprescription devices typically require you to do your own custom fitting that involves boiling and biting into a mouthpiece.
The Mandibular Advancing Appliance is not for everyone. If you wear dentures or have no teeth, you cannot use this type of appliance. Also, if the structural integrity of your teeth is too weak due to cavities or gum diseases, this type of device may not be the right solution for you.
The other type, the Tongue Retaining Device, or TRD, works by mechanically holding the tongue, preventing it from falling back into the throat and blocking the airway. Again, there are multiple manufactures of TRDs. For example, there's a TRD that works by enveloping the tongue in a soft plastic cavity and holding it in place by suction. The benefit of this TRD is that you can use it even if you're a denture wearer. Another benefit is you don't have to worry about possible moth joint pain since TRDs don't usually involve mandibular advancement.
Since there are many options and each option has its pros and cons, you should consult your dentist or trusted healthcare provider to see which solution is right for you.