One Dark Front Tooth - Options?

My front central inscisor is dark due to dental trauma 3 years ago. I am going for a root canal since I am also having pain. Can I place one veneer or crown on this tooth? Will it block the dark color and match my other teeth?

Doctor Answers 11

Porcelain veneers, cosmetic dentistry, single dark tooth

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This a very good question that you have posed.  First, you can certainly try internal bleaching to see if this resolves the problem.  My own experience is that it works about 70% of the time. There are several internal bleaching techniques.  If this is not an option, yes, a single veneer can be done and the underlying dark shade blocked out. Again, there are also many techniques to achieving exceptional results.  One of the best results seems to be to block out the dark tooth with an opaque composite then taking the impression for the veneer.  

The porcelain veneer will require a skilled cosmetic dentist to be able to match the color, shade, contours, and texture so that it will blend in with your natural teeth.  

Another thought, if you want whiter teeth, consider bleaching your teeth before doing the porcelain veneer.

Houston Dentist

Crown, cosmetic dentist,

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In the modern world of technology, we have many options of getting the right shade.Digital shade matching gives us the ability to conquer the trickiest shade challenges all day, every day, instantly and accurately. Also the dentist can have the lab tech come in personally to get you the right shade for your discolored tooth.Since you are getting root canal treatment on that tooth, the most ideal option is to put a full coverage crown on that tooth. The reason being first and foremost the tooth is discolored and also after the root canal treatment the tooth itself is not very strong and full coverage will protect it from further breakdown. You could also do veneer but root canal treated teeth usually get darker as time passes and you might need to replace your restoration.

Dalvir Pannu, DDS
San Jose Dentist

Matching shade of single crown is a difficult task.

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Matching a single tooth procelain crown to neighbouring teeth can be a challenge but is not difficult if you work with a good laboratory.

I would recommend getting Zirconia crown as it is strong and looks very real.

Anagha Joshi, DDS
Bay Area Dentist

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Full coverage crown over a root canal tooth..

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If you have a root canal, the tooth will become darker over time. If the dentist has placed a post into the tooth, that can contribute to the internal color of the tooth. If you need strength inside a tooth, then a metal post might give better strength. If you use metal inside a crown and try to cover it with a veneer, you will find it has a dark shading underneath.

For a tooth that has had a root canal, you can use a zirconium crown over it and get the benefits of an all-porcelain crown without any dark metal in it. There are several types of porcelain crowns, but either a porcelain fused to metal or a zirconium crown will mask the darker core of the tooth.  A porcelain veneer will not.

Randall LaFrom, DDS
San Jose Dentist

One single crown

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Since you will have a root canal   on a front tooth the best option is a full porcelain crown.

You will have great results on matching the tooth with the neighboring ones if also the dentist has a great cosmetic lab technician .

Antoaneta Barba, DDS
Santa Ana Dentist

Crown for your dark tooth

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After your root canal is finished, the best treatment is a full coverage crown. Seek out a highly trained cosmetic dentist who can show you successful photos of single crowns and veneers. Be prepared for multiple visits to achieve a 98% match - do not expect 100! %

Mickey Bernstein, DDS
Memphis Dentist

Options for one dark front tooth-Veneer, crown, whitening?

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Having one dark front tooth is a challenge in cosmetic dentistry. 

After 22 years in practice, these teeth seem to stay dark even after a root canal. I have treated a lot with internal whitening. They look fine for about a year. They seem to often need to be re-whitened. I treat less and less with this approach.

Another option is to place a veneer. This can make a vast improvement, however even veneers don't always block out all of the darkness, nor match well over time.

WHen I care for a cosmetic dentistry problem, I try to match the least invasive method with the longest-lasting and most trouble-free result. In a situation like this, it may mean having a regular crown made to fully control the optical properties that make the tooth look dark.

Single front tooth crowns can be a challenge to match

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It sounds as if you are on the right path, treating infection and pain.  Once complete, it is likely this tooth will need a full coverage crown if not a veneer.  The challenge for the dentist will be to match this tooth to the others, not just in color but in shape, contour and texture.

A consideration here would be to KöR whiten all of your teeth prior making the crown or veneer.  This would make it easier to match color AND brighten your smile.  Your dentist will likely need to use a material that is opaque enough to block the color of the darker tooth and still look natural.

Doing this well takes a talented and experienced cosmetic dentist, as not all dental offices are equipped to deliver aesthetic results to such challenges.

Dark Front Tooth

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A veneers is a thin piece of porcelain that is translucent, so light passes through it. It is not a good option for masking a dark tooth.

You could try internally bleaching the tooth after the root canal is completed. There is a small risk of root resorption with this procedure.

The other option is to place a crown over the tooth to block out the dark color. 

My material of preference is a zirconia/porcelain crown.

Sylvan Fain, DDS
Miami Dentist

Option for one dark front tooth

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Matching ONE front tooth is about the most difficult challenge a dentist faces, even one with much cosmetic experience.  If it's also dark from trauma, it's that much harder!  I would usually recommend bleaching everything first, seeing how light you can get that tooth, and then doing an all porcelain veneer or crown, depending on the amount of tooth structure remaining.  I usually try to avoid placing a post if there is sufficient tooth structure left, as they tend to weaken the teeth.  This link shows a patient post-trauma where one porcelain veneer was done on the dark tooth after bleaching.

Gerilyn Alfe, DMD
Chicago Dentist

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.