After experiencing a horrible toothache, I consulted an emergency dentist. He advised me that there was nothing wrong with my tooth, but he could tell there was a small crack in the tooth, based on the symptoms I’d been experiencing. He indicated I would need a crown, so I started the process that day, then returned two weeks later to have the crown placed. Though it did seem better after this, none of the work cleared it up altogether. The dentist indicated that, if the paint didn’t go away, I could need a root canal. Because I do not want that, I have been trying to remedy the problem with Tylenol. This has been going on for about two months, and today, I noticed the tooth next to it is now turning gray. Perhaps the crown is lighter? Or, do you think the emergency dentist could have damaged the other tooth?
From your description, it seems that your gray tooth is dying. When this happens, a tooth can become discolored, as you are describing, similar to a bruise on your skin, but it’s behind your enamel. The treatment for this is a root canal and is needed. The tooth needs cleaned out and filled from the inside, and, until this is done, it can grow bacteria, which will eventually become and infection. Therefore, the issue needs addressed as soon as possible.
To address your question about whether the emergency dentist caused this, it is unlikely. There are a few reasons for this. First, that tooth could have been hurting you all along. Teeth can refer the pain to the their neighbor teeth. If this is what happened, it’s possible you were diagnosed incorrectly. Second, it’s possible that both teeth were injured at the same time. For example, if you bit down on something hard, it could have caused trauma to the graying tooth, and cracked the neighboring tooth. This may not have caused the tooth to die. The other possibility is that both teeth were somehow injured at the same time. Let’s say you bit down on something hard, traumatizing the gray tooth and cracking its neighbor. The tooth may not have died right away, but it could have slowly faded into the gray color. Third, it is possible the the two are completely unrelated.
If you suspect a misdiagnosis, ask for a copy of the original x-ray, and consult another dentist to have the gray tooth looked at. If the dentist missed something that is visible on the x-ray, he should refund your money. If there is nothing on the x-ray, it is unlikely that he missed anything.
This article is sponsored by Colorado Springs emergency dentist, Dr. Joseph Rota.