A single discoloured tooth can ruin an otherwise beautiful smile, leaving you frustrated and self-conscious. Naturally, you will want to whiten that tooth so that you can smile with confidence once more. Fortunately, while it can be a challenge to whiten a single tooth, it is possible to do using one of the following methods.
External Tooth Whitening
Whitening in this way is generally designed for a full set of teeth rather than a single tooth. However, with a little care, it is possible to focus on just one tooth.
Using a custom-made whitening tray created for your teeth by your dentist, you can add hydrochloride gel to just one area, targeting the single discoloured tooth. However, this method might take weeks before you achieve a shade that matches your other teeth.
If you are patient, you might be able to achieve the desired shade. Ensure that you avoid over the counter bleaching trays however, as these are not designed for your specific bite and, therefore, may be ineffective.
Internal Tooth Whitening
In general, a single tooth might become discoloured due to root canal therapy. This might occur due to a portion of the dead pulp being left behind in the tooth, the medication applied during the root canal, the liquid sealer used to seal the tooth being present in the crown, or the filling material used, such as amalgam (silver metal).
Internal tooth whitening is generally more effective than external for single tooth purposes, and, therefore, your dentist will likely recommend this over external whitening. To whiten a tooth internally, a small amount of whitening paste will be added inside the tooth in order to bleach it from the inside.
Once the whitening paste is added, your dentist will seal the hole with composite resin, and send you home. It takes around 2 weeks for the treatment to work effectively. If the results aren't to your liking, the treatment can be repeated until the desired whiteness has been achieved.
An Alternative to Whitening
Your dentist may also recommend that you opt for a single veneer to be placed over the discoloured tooth, as this is far more effective, albeit much more expensive. A veneer is a thin porcelain shell that fits over your tooth and can be custom-made to match the rest of your teeth.
If your smile is suffering because of a single discoloured tooth, talk to your cosmetic dentist about these options.