A tooth can become gray following trauma, dental treatment, or years of poor oral healthcare. Treating a gray tooth isn't as simple as the teeth whitening used to clean exterior stains. But a visit to the dentist can likely provide you with a way to have a natural-colored tooth instead of a gray tooth.
Root Canal and Dental Crown
The gray tone can come from internal damage to the tooth. Pulp within the root canal contains vital blood cells, nerves, and tissue that keep the tooth alive. If that pulp is damaged due to trauma or a deep crack or cavity, the tooth can essentially start to die.
To save the tooth, your dentist will first perform a root canal procedure. A hole is opened in the top of the tooth so that the dentist can reach in and scrape out the damaged pulp. A bio-cement is then injected to seal the chamber shut to prevent infections.
A dental crown is placed over the root canal hole to seal the area shut. But since you have tooth discoloration, you might want to ask for a crown that covers the entire exterior of your tooth. This will help protect the remaining natural tooth from further damage and give you the look of a naturally white tooth.
Internal Teeth Bleaching
An alternative co-treatment with a root canal is internal teeth bleaching. A whitening solution is inserted into the tooth once the initial steps of the root canal are performed. The bleach can lighten the gray tone that began in the center of the tooth.
Your tooth will still need a crown to close up the canal. But if the whitening takes well and your tooth lightens significantly, you might want to ask for an overlay crown. An overlay only covers the very top section of the existing tooth and will leave most of your natural tooth on display.
Veneers or Dental Implants
Significant graying can be a sign that the tooth is dying or died. This can happen if the pulp is completely destroyed due to trauma or longstanding infection.
If the tooth isn't completely dead, your dentist might still perform a root canal. But a crown isn't going to offer sufficient protection for the fragile tooth underneath. Your dentist might instead opt for veneers.
For veneers, your dentist will file down the existing tooth until only the canal and the immediately surrounding dentin are left. Custom-made composite face is made for the tooth and bonded to the surface.
If your remaining tooth isn't strong enough for veneers, the dentist might instead opt for extraction and a dental replacement. Dental implants offer a sturdy natural-looking alternative. For more information on this and other topics, go to http://www.aaronbirchdds.com/.