Last summer, I fell and knocked out my left front tooth. My dentist saw me right away, put the tooth in the socket, and bonded it in place. He also did a root canal on the tooth. In a few months noticed that my tooth was getting dark. When I saw my dentist in December, he said that I might need a crown. After doing some online research, I wonder if a crown on a front tooth is wise. Is there an alternative to doing a crown? I wouldn’t be so fussy about this, but I completed Invisalign treatment in 2017 and got my teeth whitened. And it’s a front tooth that’s affected, so I am more concerned than I would be with a side or back tooth. Thanks for your suggestions. Khalid from Lincoln, NE
You were wise to research before agreeing to a dental crown for a front tooth. Although a crown can strengthen a front tooth against chipping, it will make the tooth more susceptible to lateral stress. If you have a heavy bite, it increases the risk of the tooth breaking off.
Minimizing Tooth Discoloration After Root Canal Treatment
After root canal treatment, a tooth may discolor. But before treating the discoloration, a dentist may x-ray the tooth to check for external root resorption, which can occur with tooth trauma.
What is external root resorption?
External root resorption is a condition that occurs when blood vessels and connective tissue from surrounding structures invade and damage your tooth roots. If you are experiencing external root resorption, your dentist must treat the issue before proceeding with cosmetic treatment.
Correcting tooth discoloration
If your tooth roots are sound, a highly skilled cosmetic dentist can minimize the tooth discoloration.
One treatment method includes these steps:
- Clean out the crown and remove root canal filling materials and cement
- If the tooth has begun to discolor, treat it with internal bleaching
- Fit the tooth with a flexible fiberglass post and seal the opening
- In a few years, if the tooth begins to discolor, use a single porcelain veneer to conceal the discoloration and match the color, translucence, and gloss of your natural teeth.
Your tooth requires aesthetic training and experience that most general dentists do not have. Schedule a second-opinion appointment with an accredited cosmetic dentist. He or she has proven skill in advanced dental aesthetics and passed rigorous oral and written exams. The cosmetic dentist will eventually need to examine and x-ray your tooth before explaining your treatment options.
Accredited Fellow of cosmetic dentistry, Dr. Brian LeSage of the Beverly Hills Institute for Dental Esthetics, sponsors this post.