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Article: How to whiten a dark tooth a after root canal DR. JERRY GORDON
Question: I have had a root canal done on my front tooth several years ago, and it has slowly turned brown. I want to know if it will ever go back to its regular color, or get worse. What should I do?

Answer: The discoloration on your front tooth will most likely not resolve on its own, and potentially become darker over time. One possible cause for this situation is that the dentist may not have removed a portion of the nerve tissue (pulp) located in the crown part of the tooth (that is the part that everyone sees when we smile). Although this will usually not have any negative effect on the outcome of the root canal itself, it can cause unsightly staining. The solution to this problem involves removing the filling in the back of the tooth, and making sure all of the pulp is cleaned out. The tooth can then be whitened with either hydrogen peroxide or carbamine peroxide until it closely matches the color of the other teeth. Then, a new filling can be placed back into the tooth. Unfortunately, this is a fairly common occurrence, but can be remedied relatively easily.

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Dr. Gordon is the dental columnist for the Bucks County Courier Times. He has published more than 300 articles since 1998. Dr. Gordon was recently asked to provide commentary about mid-level providers for the influential dental journal Dental Abstracts.

Dr. Gordon responds to an article in Dental Abstracts challenging his views.

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