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Hi, one of my front teeth died years ago as a result of an accident. When it became noticable, I had a dentist put a veneer over the tooth, which was satisfactory until recently. About a year or so ago, the tooth began to look distinctly darker than my surrounding teeth. I like my tooth; it is in good condition, and I hate to remove it. I went to a new dentist to see about replacing the veneer, and she said I ought to have a crown put on it instead, as the veneer wouldn't affect the fact that from the back the tooth is very dark, and so would continue to look dark. I don't understand why she can't put a veneer all around the tooth, rather than drilling away a perfectly good tooth and putting on a crown. Also, I am worried that the area between the crown and the root will show and it will be obvious that I have a crown. This is my front tooth and every time I open my mouth it is visible. Isn't it possible to simply replace the veneer rather than doing a crown over my tooth? Thanks for your help

Though I have not seen your tooth, I am guessing that a root canal has been completed. You are correct that the tooth has now darkened with time due to the loss of circulation to it. You might be happy to know that many times we can bleach a root canal treated tooth from the inside out! In other words, it may be possible to lighten your tooth without even removing your veneer. Depending on the type of root canal performed and the existence of a post inside your tooth, a bleaching may or may not be feasible OR may require the root canal treatment to be redone. As for your other question, because a veneer is so thin, it is unlikely that a new veneer would ever be able to fully mask the darkness underneath. It is very routine for us to crown teeth which have died to protect and strengthen them. Once a tooth dies, it becomes more brittle with time and a crown helps prevent further breakdown. You may be able to have a ceramic crown which contains no metal and is very natural in appearance. This way, no metal will show between the crown and root of your tooth! I wish you luck with restoring your smile.

 

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