Tooth #8: Internal Beaching or Porcelain Crown? Discolored(pink) and Slight Fracture

About 3 weeks ago I had a trauma to my mouth and my #8 tooth (front) has become discolored pink and has a slight fracture on the surface. I have been to a dentist and an endodontist. My tooth still responds to the vitality tests but it is just discolored and has a slight fracture.Digital radiograph in 2 weeks. Does a tooth turn back to a natural color after several months? I would like to know more about the pros and cons for internal bleaching and if it lasts. Would a porcelain crown be better?

Doctor Answers 4

Internal bleaching

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The discoloration means the tooth is bleeding internally and it will surely need a root canal. Many dentists feel all root canaled teeth should be crowned. I think there are exceptions to the rule. If you internal bleach before the crown, the tooth will relapse over time and the dark color will show through the crown. It will just need the internal bleaching done again. If you don't internal bleach and get a crown the tooth may continue to get darker and require internal bleaching later .If you choose not to crown it after a root canal there is a risk of fracture. A lot to consider.

Dr. Sue Wendling

Portland Dentist

The recommendation for a trauma, discolored tooth is to wait if not fractured!.

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Trauma is not fun. Try to be patient, wait if you can and return to the root canal specialist in a couple of weeks. Discoloration can be internal bleeding of the tooth and it may go away or get worse. You can try whitening with a custom tray and see if that helps in the interim. If you need a root canal, you can do internal whitening. If your tooth did not break, just leave it-even if it has cracks. Good luck!

Wendy S. Spektor, DDS
Bellevue Dentist

Internal Bleaching or Porcelain Crown

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Sorry to hear that you suffered trauma to your front tooth.  I am glad to hear thought that you have seen an endodontist and have been evaluated.  Trauma can be unpredictable so it is too early to tell what will happen to the tooth over the next few months.  As long as the tooth remains vital and does not need a root canal, internal bleaching cannot take place.  Speak to your endodontist as well as your dentist to see what you options will be with or without a root canal

Leonard Tau, DMD
Philadelphia Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 3 reviews

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Internal Beaching or Porcelain Crown?

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Trauma can cause all sorts of discolorations to front teeth. Some are transient, some are harbingers of the nerve eventually dying. Some barely discolor, some turn very dark. If you have an Endodontist involved, that's great. I would be patient and wait for their advice.  Some mildly traumatized teeth just return back to normal.

It's just too early to decide some of these things. After more than twenty years as a cosmetic dentist, you'll just need to see what you have to work with in a few months. 

As the course for this tooth becomes more defined, make sure to have a Cosmetic Dentist on board. They can help you make solid, conservative choices and beautiful results whatever happens.

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.