Had Trauma to Two Front Teeth. Implant for One, the Other Turned Grey/Stabilized Over Time. Can it be Bleached?

I fell 7 years ago, trauma to my two front upper teeth, one removed and an implant necessary, heartbreaking at the time, the other has turned a soft grey over time, but seems stabilised now - hasn't changed for years - the nerve is still viable - the tooth has a veneer, which was put on 20 years ago, along with others, all still going well, quality job, teeth were very yellow due to antibiotics as a child. Can the tooth be bleached from behind to brighten the front visual? Tks

Doctor Answers 3

Difficult to beach grey tooth with existing veneer.

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I have read and seen in seminars that teeth can be bleached from behind but this is not very reliable and can take several months of bleaching every day. Not predictable.

Your grey tooth needs to be tested for vitality because chances are that a dark tooth is a dead tooth. If the nerve is dead, then a more predictable option will be to do a root canal to remove the dead nerve and whiten the tooth from the inside.

If you don't wan to do this, then your other option is to re-do the veneer with a crown that can mask the color.

You mentioned your teeth are yellow from antibiotics. If you cannot get good whitening results then your best bet will be veneer the front teeth visible in a smile and then crown the two front teeth.

good luck

Dr. T

Miami Beach Dentist

Veneered tooth will NOT bleach from behind

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If the grey tooth's nerve is truly viable, then you will NOT see any benefit from bleaching it from behind. I'm not sure that it is still viable, if it turned grey from the trauma. If it tests to be "non-vital", then you would need root canal therapy, after which you could try an "internal bleaching" of the tooth from behind. That could result in a whiter looking tooth.

Jay Neuhaus, DDS
New York Dentist

Can My Grey Tooth with a Veneer be Bleached?

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After an injury or trauma a tooth can turn grey. It can be slight or it can be substantial. 

Once a tooth turns grey, they are difficult to whiten well, or specifically, keep whitened. Once a porcelain veneer is placed over the front of it, it is difficult to get much lightening from re-whitening.

After more than twenty years of doing all sorts of whitening treatments, I have found that you may get a very slight improvement with some diligent re-whitening, but there's not usually much change.

If you really want to change the color of it, it most likely means making a new veneer.

There is no reason why a new beautiful veneer can't accomplish the change you are thinking about. I think you'll be surprised when you make the change about how happy you are with the updated look. 

Make sure you use a really good cosmetic dentist. Many dentists make veneers, but with a complex background like yours, you need someone very versed in creating a beautiful result.

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.