What is Internal Bleaching?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 08 September 2019
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Internal bleaching is a technique that is used to whiten the appearance of teeth. Unlike over the counter solutions that are used to whiten teeth, internal bleaching is conducted under the direction of a dentist. Since the treatment requires invasive action, it is important that a professional conduct the tooth bleaching in a controlled environment.

The process for an internal bleaching involves the insertion of a chemical oxidizing agent into the tooth. This is accomplished by drilling into the tooth using drills similar to those used for root canals. The agent is left in the tooth for up to two weeks, then replaced with more chemicals until the tooth achieves the level of whiteness desired. Once the series of treatments are complete, the hole is filled, ensuring that foreign matter will not be able to invade the tooth and cause other problems.

Not everyone is a candidate for internal bleaching. Dentists evaluate the degree of staining and discoloration that is present. If the dentist determines that the use of external bleaching treatments or over the counter will achieve the results, he or she will not recommend an internal bleaching series.


The dentist will also evaluate the current condition of the teeth. If there is a need for some type of corrective surgery, such as a root canal, those issues will be addressed before the internal bleaching treatments take place. This is to ensure that the tooth is healthy and that the internal structure of the tooth cannot be damaged by the introduction of the whitening chemicals into the tooth.

Internal bleaching may be utilized as a stand-alone treatment for whitening teeth, or used in conjunction with exterior bleaching products. Again, the dentist will evaluate the current condition of the teeth and determine if it is feasible to make use of two different kinds of treatment at the same time. When external as well as internal bleaching is conducted in the same time frame, the dentist will often recommend specific external products to use. This is to ensure that no external bleaching product is likely to interact with the internal bleaching compound in any way that would ultimately damage the teeth.

While there are many whitening products for teeth available for over the counter use, it is never wise to augment an internal bleaching treatment series with these products, unless directed to do so by the dentist. In addition, if any side effects such as increased sensitivity occur during the series, they should be reported to the dentist immediately. While many people respond well to the use of internal bleaching, there is always a small degree or risk associated with any type of invasive procedure.


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Post 3

@stoneMason-- It is an invasive procedure but internal bleaching is only recommended for very stained teeth that do not respond to other treatments. So it's really a last option in most cases.

Post 2

My father had internal bleaching done after a root canal. The root canal was actually the cause of his teeth staining because of the bleeding that occurred during the procedure. This permanently stained several teeth from the inside out. So none of the whitening treatments at the dentist's office or at pharmacies made any difference. His dentist recommended internal bleaching to clean up the stain and my dad agreed.

Internal bleaching has actually worked great for him and he hasn't had any issues or side effects. His teeth look great now, the stains are gone.

Post 1

Wow, I had no idea that internal bleaching is so invasive. Having holes drilled into my teeth don't sound like too much fun. Sometimes invasive dental procedures are necessary to treat dental problems, but stained teeth does not affect the health of teeth, just the appearance. So I don't think I would ever agree to an invasive procedure like internal bleaching to whiten my teeth. But I understand that some people do not mind.

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