I had a toothache on and off for several months. Finally, it got so bad that I made an emergency dentist appointment. The dentist said it looked okay. But, he did notice a small crack. He decided to do a crown. So I did all the prep that day and after two weeks, I returned for the permanent crown. He did warn me that I might need a root canal if the pain didn’t improve. Even hearing that possibility has me losing sleep. So I’ve been pumping myself full of ibuprofen. It’s been over a month now and still doesn’t feel normal. But, now the tooth next to it is turning gray! What is happening? Am I in the twilight zone? Is it possible the emergency dentist messed up the tooth next to the crown?
– Jim in North Carolina
A gray tooth isn’t a good sign. This is an indicator that the tooth is dying or may already be dead. This can occur when the tooth has endured some sort of trauma. It isn’t likely that the emergency dentist caused it or injured it. Of course, it is possible. But, it very well could have been this tooth that was bothering you from the onset. In some cases, a toothache can refer pain to another tooth. Or it could mean that the crowned tooth and the gray tooth were both injured at the same time and both require treatment. Lastly, it could be unrelated from the crowned tooth and possibly misdiagnosed by the emergency dentist.
Whatever the case, the gray tooth needs immediate treatment. I know this isn’t what you wanted to hear. But when a tooth is dead, the inside needs to be cleaned out and a root canal treatment is required to heal it. This will clear up any bacteria inside the tooth and take care of any infection. The sooner you take action, the more economically and less painful you will experience.
Now, it’s up to you if you choose to see another dentist. If you go that route, you could request an x-ray and take it with you to another dentist to seek a second opinion of the diagnosis. If the dentist missed the fact that the gray tooth should have been treated, you may be able to request a refund from the porcelain crown work. If the x-ray doesn’t show that anything was wrong, you may be out of luck. Whatever you do, get your gray tooth treated as soon as possible. Or you may be dealing with some pain and may end up losing the tooth.
This post is sponsored by York PA dentist Donald H. Currie, DMD