Do you have a tooth that has turned gray? This is common in teeth that have died, either because you once had a root canal in the tooth or because it was injured at some point. If the tooth is towards the back of your mouth, then it may not bother you. But if it is a tooth that is visible when you smile, then you might want to have it taken care of. Here are three different things a cosmetic dentist can do for a gray tooth.
If the tooth is turning gray, your dentist will want to figure out why — if they don't know already. They will likely take x-rays of the tooth to see how the internal structures are doing. If the structures are infected or weak, then your dentist may recommend having the tooth extracted rather than allowing it to remain and eventually fall out or break on its own. After the tooth is extracted, your dentist can install a dental implant in its place. This implant will look like a normal, natural tooth. Your dentist can customize the color so that it is the exact same color as your other teeth.
Another option is to have the tooth covered with a dental crown. A crown is basically a cap that goes over your tooth. It can be made from porcelain or composite resin — both will be colored to match your other teeth. The crown will mask your discolored tooth, and it will also help keep the tooth more stable in your mouth. Your dentist is likely to recommend this approach if your tooth is gray, but still reasonably strong and intact. You may eventually need to have the tooth removed a few years down the road, but the crown will at least buy you more time.
If the gray tooth is structurally sound, another option your dentist may recommend is veneers. A veneer can be placed in front of and over your natural tooth. Nobody will see the tooth; they'll just see the veneer. Usually, veneers are used when you have multiple problems to mask. For instance, one tooth may be gray, but the ones next to it may be chipped. Veneers can cover it all at once.
If you have a gray tooth, don't ignore it. Speak to your dentist, and see which one of the options above they recommend. For more information on cosmetic dentistry, contact a professional near you.