When a tooth is damaged due to a fall or accident, the blood supply to the nerve can become damaged, and eventually die. Since the tooth no longer receives blood and nutrients, it will turn dark eventually. If you are reading this article, you have doubtlessly had this situation happen to you, and are wondering if it’s possible to whiten your dead tooth without totally replacing it. The answer is that it’s possible, but depends on a variety of factors. Read on to learn more.
(*Note: Dentists refer to “dead” teeth as “non-vital.” However, we have chosen to use the term “dead” throughout this article to avoid confusion.)
Not all darkened teeth are caused by the types of trauma we mentioned above. Darkened teeth can also be caused by:
In any of these situations, the treatment is easy. Stains can be polished and bleached off the tooth surface, and metal fillings can be replaced with tooth-colored resin. If the dark color is caused by a dead nerve, however, the treatment is more challenging.
Because a dead tooth’s stains are intrinsic (inside, rather than outside, the tooth), the bleaching agent needs to be placed inside the tooth, not on top of it. The process is as described below.
Many times, this relatively conservative procedure will give your tooth all the lightening it needs. If it’s not enough, the tooth can be bleached externally as well. And if you still haven’t seen results (though this is rare), you may want to consider an external covering, like a veneer or crown. To learn more about cosmetic dentistry in Hickory NC, call our office now to request an appointment!