Root canal teeth tend to be much darker than other teeth. Teeth that have had a root canal stick out from the rest of our smiles because they appear dull and dark. If you have a root canal tooth, you may want to whiten it to make it less noticeable. There are several cosmetic dentistry treatments to whiten root canal teeth and help them blend beautifully with the rest of your natural teeth.
Why are Root Canal Teeth Darker?
Each tooth is made up of three parts:
- The root
- The dentin
- The enamel
The root of the tooth is what holds the tooth in place in the gums. The root is surrounded by a porous material called dentin. Dentin yellows as we age and can be permeated by the materials in the root. The materials in the root can cause the dentin to yellow even more over time. The dentin is covered by enamel. Enamel is what we see when we look at our teeth. It is a translucent material and can show the color of the dentin underneath. The natural color of enamel is white, but it may not look white depending on the color of the dentin.
When a tooth’s root dies, the root turns a very dark brown color. The materials in the root that are the dark brown color seep into the dentin and turn the dentin even darker. The darkened dentin then shows through the enamel and the tooth looks much darker and duller than the rest of the teeth. The dead root is removed during the root canal. However, the darkened root material is already inside the dentin creating a dark looking tooth.
Whitening Root Canal Teeth
There are three ways to whiten root canal teeth:
In-office teeth whitening treatments like the Sapphire teeth whitening treatment can brighten your entire smile.
One of the advantages of the Sapphire teeth whitening treatment is that the gel is applied to each individual tooth. This means that root canal teeth can be concentrated on and whitened without whitening the rest of your teeth.
Root canal teeth will not whiten to the same shade as your other teeth if all your teeth are whitened at the same time. This is because root canal teeth are much darker and need more whitening to match your other teeth. Sometimes, root canal teeth need to be whitened from the inside out. The dentin inside the tooth will need to be whitened in order for the enamel on the outside of the tooth to be whiter. Your cosmetic dentist will discuss your root canal whitening options and help determine the best treatment for your needs.
Dental crowns are created to look, feel, and function as your natural teeth. They will blend seamlessly with your smile and they can be created to match any color tooth. Dental crowns are meant to brighten root canal teeth and add support. Root canal teeth can become brittle and weak over time because they are technically dead teeth. A dental crown will protect the teeth and prevent them from cracking.
Porcelain veneers have many advantages. They serve to whiten, strengthen, and enhance the appearance of teeth. Just like dental crowns, porcelain veneers are created to look, feel, and function like your natural teeth. Porcelain veneers can be created for one or more teeth. You can have porcelain veneers for all of your teeth or just your root canal teeth.