A dead tooth is a colloquial name for a tooth that does not have a nerve inside it because it was replaced by a dissolvable material during the root canal treatment. A tooth may also become dead due to caries. The shade of dead teeth usually become grey. Fortunately, they can be whitened as well.
Before your dental visit
Use a whitening toothpaste every day. It removes stains and discoloration from the healthy teeth, what makes the dead tooth less visible. You can also put a whitening gel on it every day (preferably in the evening), which will slightly whiten its shade. However, don't count on spectacular effects - a dead tooth is darker not due to plaque on it, but due to its filling.
Contact a dentist
A stomatologist will check whether the condition of your tooth is good enough (for example, whether the canal root treatment was successful) to have it whitened and he will also inform you about pros and cons of this decision. Dead teeth are different than healthy ones - they are more prone to fractures and crackings. You have to be aware of the fact that during the treatment the tooth crown may get broken.
Dead tooth whitening process
If the doctor qualifies your tooth for the whitening treatment, then you will be referred to x-ray. Later, if you get good results, the tooth root is secured with a dental composite or cement so as to prevent it from contact with the whitening agent. A whitening substance and a dressing is put into the tooth cavity for a couple of days. Unfortunately, the final effect is usually insufficient and the treatment has to be repeated (even several times).
Teeth whitening alternatives
A veneer is a very good choice for someone who doesn't want to or who cannot undergo more invasive treatments. A veneer is a thick layer of porcelain placed over a tooth by using dental cement. By means of a veneer we can not only change the shade of a tooth but also improve its shape and modify its size.
Notice that a veneer can be put only over a healthy tooth that is not dehydrated or prone to fractures. A veneer is also susceptible to damage and usually after couple of years some breaks may occur on it. You should also remember that veneers are an irreversible choice: before putting them some amount of the tooth enamel has to be removed and afterward your teeth will always need the protective layer.