Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Getting the Stain Out!

Following trauma, tooth discoloration is very common. The discoloration comes from the bleeding inside the pulpal chamber. The dentin becomes stained as the blood gets into the dentinal tubules and trapped in the pulp horns. The first step in restoring the natural color to the tooth is good endodontic therapy with adequate removal of the stained facial dentin and complete removal of the pulp horns. If the natural tooth color is not restored with this procedure, then the additional treatment of non-vital internal bleaching is indicated.

A common error is incomplete removal of the pulpal horns due to a small apically placed access. Care must be taken to remove stained dentin and pulpal horns while trying to preserve maximum tooth structure.

The following case shows how to "get the stain out".

Tooth #9 & #10 sustained traumatic injury.

Note the discoloration on #9.

After opening the access, staining can be seen in #9. #10 looks normal.

A round bur is used to remove the stain from the facial surface of the pulp chamber. Careful examination with magnification reveals remaining stain in pulp horns. The access is carefully refined to remove stain from pulp horns while keeping access as conservative as possible.

Following removal of rubber dam, the change in coloration is noted. Patient is informed that the tooth is dehydrated and will continue to change color until rehydration is complete. At that time, evaluation can be made if additional internal bleaching procedures will be needed.

Obturation completed.

Adequate endodontic therapy alone will often resolve the patient's esthetic concerns. Non-vital bleaching is a good adjunct for teeth requiring additional whitening.

1 comment:

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