If you or someone you know has a single dark tooth, you know that it can make them self-conscious about their smile. It can also present a challenge to dental professionals as well. Thankfully, advancements in teeth whitening have allowed dental professionals to provide their patients with a solution through a variety of whitening options and techniques. Dr. Van Haywood, an expert in tooth whitening, has recommended a number of different ways dentists can help their patients whiten a single dark tooth:
Whitening using custom trays: Your dentist can fabricate a single-tooth whitening tray for you to whiten your dark tooth. This will allow you to whiten the dark tooth without changing the shade of your other teeth. Dr. Haywood recommends a whitening product with 10% carbamide peroxide whitening gel to get the best results.
In the dental office: An in-office whitening treatment provides powerful whitening results that can whiten a single dark tooth in an hour or less. Your dentist will place the powerful bleach on the exterior of the tooth and whiten until it matches your other teeth.
Walking bleach: The "walking bleach" technique evolved from the original in-office technique, allowing for a shorter in-office whitening treatment. In this two-appointment procedure, the whitening material is placed inside your tooth. Your dentist will create space in the tooth, place the bleach, then seale it in. After 3–5 days, you'll return to your dentist's office to have the material removed and reapplied if your tooth hasn't become quite as white as you'd like.
Inside-outside bleaching: Inside-outside bleaching is one of the best options for whitening a single dark tooth. It uses a combination of custom tray bleaching and the walking bleach method, both described above. With bleach placed inside the tooth as well as on the outside with the single-tooth tray, your dark tooth gets a double dose of whitening to allow the tooth to reach its maximum whiteness.
Before any of these whitening options are done, you should ask your dentist to see which treatment they think will be most effective. And because everyone's different, these different methods may produce different results. In some instances, these techniques can only improve the condition of the tooth. Further esthetic procedures may be required to reach desired results.