Can Individual Teeth Be Whitened?

Doctor Answers 7

Whitening Individual Teeth

Yes, it is possible to whiten individual teeth using whitening gel in custom-made trays.  The dentist can make trays that have space for the whitening gel only on the selected teeth to be whitened.  As long as the patient does not overfill the tray with gel, the gel should not be able to contact adjacent teeth.  Best, Dr. Elizabeth Jahanian.

Los Angeles Dentist

Whitening individual teeth

It's difficult to try to whiten one tooth. For a non-root canal tooth, you could try a custom tray with gel on one tooth, but it's tough to get the right shade with only one tooth. A veneer might really be the best bet.

Paul D. Kantor, DDS
Cleveland Dentist
4.8 out of 5 stars 17 reviews

Single tooth whitening

Years ago, we used to whiten teeth one at a time with gel and a small halogen light tip. If the tooth is dark because of a root canal being done, then it can be bleached using a strong bleaching agent inside the tooth. The gel is placed in the topo of the root canal and a cotton pellet placed over that and then a composite filling. Then the patient leaves that in for a couple weeks. The procedure can be repeated as well.

If the tooth is dark because of a post being in the tooth or an amalgam or pin supporting a large filling, then those dark shadows won't bleach, they need to be removed and replaced with a cosmetic restoration.

Randall LaFrom, DDS
San Jose Dentist

Single tooth whitening

Usually single tooth whitening is a concern for teeth that have had root canals, or need root canals. If they have had a root canal you can bleach it from the inside. If they haven't, you may do a root canal and that may be enough. Often the tooth that has had a root canal needs a crown and can be matched with a cosmetically designed crown.

M. Andrew Atwood, DDS
Bellevue Dentist
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

I would shy away from it.

Trying to whiten one teeth is a toughy and most of the time the success rate is very low to minimal. A single veneer can be done if the color is really off. A good cosmetic dentist is your best source of information...Dr Thomas

Michael J. Thomas, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Whitening Just One Tooth

There are several ways to whiten just one tooth.  One way is the walking technique (described below) used for teeth that have had a root canal.  Another way (for non-root canal teeth) is to use a custom tray and apply gel only in the tray for the one tooth you wish to whiten.  If the simple whitening procedures will not work, you may be able to use porcelain to get that tooth to be the color you desire.

Susan Goode Estep, DMD
Atlanta Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

Bleaching single teeth possible but challenging

The most common application is when a single tooth had root canal therapy. A walking bleach method can be done, but has some significant risks. Depending on the reason for the discoloration, the results can be unpredictable. Most often the best is an individual veneer.

Lance Timmerman, DMD, MAGD
Seattle Dentist
4.3 out of 5 stars 6 reviews

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.