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Root Canal and Teeth Whitening

What is a Root Canal?

The tooth is made up of many layers, starting with the white enamel that you see on the outside. Going in, you have a hard layer of dentin, followed by a soft layer called pulp. Pulp is what contains all of the blood vessels and nerves that are necessary to help develop your teeth, but it loses its use after your teeth are fully developed. When that pulp becomes inflamed, a root canal is performed to prevent pain or an abscess.

How Do I Know If I Need a Root Canal?

Treatment is needed when the pulp becomes either inflamed or infected, which is much worse. This is caused from a variety of sources, including cracks in the tooth or decay from repeated dental work. In the event that the pulp becomes inflamed, you will know from the pain experienced while chewing, swollen gums, sensitivity, or visible signs of damage. If that happens, be sure to consult a dentist.

What Happens After?

Usually, the procedure of getting a root canal takes two trips. The first is where the infection or inflamed pulp is removed and the inside of the tooth is cleaned. The dentist refills the space and seals it up. In the second trip, the dentist puts a crown on the tooth to protect it and you’re good to go. The recovery process is very short, usually just increasing sensitivity for a few days. You can seek treatment with over the counter medications or prescriptions from your dentist.

Short Term Whitening

When it comes to teeth whitening, we are looking at a couple of different routes, with the short and long term options. In the short term, you are not going to be able to turn yellow teeth perfectly white, but there are some deep cleaning techniques that dentists can do to make you look way better for now. The process of turning your teeth white requires consistent bleaching, but there are some bleaches that only a dentist can provide because they are so strong.

Long Term Whitening

Although the short term option will help you, getting to look as good as new is going to take a lot more work and consistently following the regimen. Your dentist will likely send you home with a few things, including bleaching trays and a bleaching gel. Every night, after you brush your teeth, you apply some of the gel to the trays and place them in your mouth for around a half hour. It feels a little tingly with the bleach on your gums, but it leads to a cleaner looking smile.


Aside from the arduous process of cleaning your teeth, another way to have a whiter, straighter smile is to do it through veneers. It sometimes looks a bit like someone replaced their teeth with perfect Chicklets, but it is in essence a cap that goes on top of your teeth. The dentist does some shaving down to place the cap on your teeth and you come away with a perfect, albeit artificial, smile.

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