Tag Archives: dental crown

Why Is My Tooth Turning Gray?

I had a toothache that drove me to the dentist. It takes a lot to get me there. I don’t have my own dentist so I went to one who sees people in emergencies. He said my symptoms meant that I cracked a tooth. He crowned it right then which I appreciated. The pain did stop, but now the tooth next to it has turned gray. I don’t know why. Any advice?


Dear Loriee,

Woman grabbing her jaw in need of an emergency dentist

If a tooth has turned gray, means the tooth is either dead or dying. There are a few reasons why this could happen. One of the most common reasons is an infected tooth. Another possibility is there was trauma to the tooth. You didn’t mention whether you recalled any injury which could have cracked your tooth.

If you did, then it’s possible you had trauma to both teeth, but there were no outward symptoms with the tooth which turned gray. Truthfully, this is the most likely scenario.

Another possibility is the dentist diagnosed and crowned the wrong tooth. The only real way to know this with certainty is to take the x-rays you had at your emergency dental appointment and get a second opinion from another dentist. If it was obvious, then you can get a refund on the crown you were already given in order to have the funds you need for the crown you should have received.

Finally, (and I’ll be the first to admit this is unlikely) you had the first tooth injured which is cracked. Then, at a later date, the second tooth was damaged elsewhere and now is showing symptoms. No matter which is the actual cause, the treatment for this is the same. You’ll need to get a root canal treatment and have that tooth crowned as well.

An Alternative to Treatment by Dental Emergency

It sounds like your dental anxiety is keeping you from getting regular dental care. This will keep you going from one emergency dental appointment to another. There is a way to get your dental care without the anxiety you normally feel.

Have you looked into seeing a sedation dentist? They can give you stress-free/pain-free appointments. The two most common types of dental sedation are nitrous oxide and oral conscious sedation. Nitrous is mostly used for mild anxiety. If you have serious anxiety, you’ll want to look into oral conscious sedation. You can check out our sedation dentistry page to learn more.

This blog is brought to you by Libertyville Dentist Dr. David Potts.

Is Dental Sedation Safe?

I haven’t gone to a dentist in years. I’m terrified of them. But, I’m also beginning to get embarrassed by my smile. I have a visible cavity on one of my front teeth. So I talked to a friend about how afraid I am and she mentioned dental sedation. The only thing that worries me is the safety of it. How safe is it?


Dear Laura,

A woman lsleeping in a dental chair from dental sedation

How fantastic that you’re taking steps to improve your oral health. It’s not uncommon for people who avoid the dentist to be uncomfortable with their smile. You’re in a more urgent position having a cavity that you can see. These can limp along slowly or they can suddenly go deep and turn into a dental emergency. Because of that, you wouldn’t want to put this off. There’s the added benefit that the sooner you take care of this, the less invasive the treatment will be. You could get a simple filling as opposed to a root canal and porcelain crown.

Sedation dentistry is often a fantastic solution for people with dental anxiety. It allows them to have stress-free / pain-free appointments. Additionally, you’re able to get more work done in one appointment then you’d normally be able to do in one appointment. This helps you catch up on your neglected work much sooner than would otherwise be possible.

Upping Your Odds With Dental Sedation

Dental Sedation is very safe. However, it’s designed to take away your anxiety. We definitely don’t want it causing some. For someone with your anxiety level, we’d recommend oral conscious sedation. All you have to do is take a special pill. Though, it makes you a tad woozy. Because of that, we insist our patients have someone drive them to and from their appointment for safety reasons.

I think it will help put your mind at ease if you specifically chose a dentist who was DOCS certified. DOCS stands for The Dental Organization for Oral Conscious Sedation. Dentists who’ve taken the time to train with them are well versed in both the safety and emergency protocols to keep their patients in good health. Dr. Potts has done extensive training with them and is now awarded a fellowship. That’s the type of dentist you want to find in the area in which you live.

I hope this puts your mind at ease. This blog is brought to you by Libertyville, IL dentist Dr. David Potts.

Can I Charge a Store for My Emergency Dentist?

I was at a store and grabbing an item when something fell from their top shelf and hit me in the mouth. I started bleeding and the manager was very apologetic. At the time I didn’t think anything was wrong with my teeth, but today one of my front teeth seems to be getting darker. What do I do? If I have to go to an emergency dentist will they bill the store?


Dear Laurie,

Libertyville Emergency Dentist

I’m sorry this happened to you. What you’ll need to do is contact the store manager and tell him or her what’s going on. It’s very likely they’ll be willing to pay the bill. Don’t put off getting treatment though. The darkening color is likely a gray color which means your tooth is either dead or dying.

You will need to get a root canal treatment and a dental crown. If you wait, you could lose the tooth. that will mean an extraction and tooth replacement. It’s much simpler (and less expensive) to repair a tooth than to replace it.

Who Pays for an Emergency Dentist?

As to who pays, unless the manager lets the emergency dentist know to bill the store he can only bill the person receiving the treatment. That doesn’t mean you can’t send them the bill if you have an agreement with them. Just be aware that you’re the one responsible for it.

If for some reason the store manager decides he’s not going to pay the bill you have a couple of choices. First, you could take them to court. Just be certain you get treatment in a timely manner. The court system will only charge the defendant for the initial treatment needed as a result of the accident. They won’t cover additional treatment required because you put off treatment.

A second option is to make a PR fuss. Call your local news station and let them know what happened. They may pay the bill to avoid the bad publicity.

Dental Crowns on Front Teeth

Because it’s a front tooth which was injured, you want to be careful what type of crown you have placed. Many dentists will place porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns no matter where the tooth is located. That is a mistake. Metal-based crowns are more opaque looking than your natural teeth. Plus, they all eventually develop a gray line at your gum line, which will be remarkably unattractive.

You’ll want to make sure whichever dentist you go to gives you an all-porcelain crown. They look much more natural and you’ll never have to worry about anything peeking out from your gums.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Potts.

What Do I Do If an Adult Tooth is Loose?

I was putting up some food storage when one of my preserve jars fell and smacked me right in the mouth.  I thought I was okay. My lipped swelled, but there didn’t to seem to be much more damage. But, when I woke up this morning, one of my front teeth seemed loose. I keep wiggling it to be sure. I’m pretty positive it’s loose. What do I do? Do I just let it heal, do I schedule an appointment, or does it matter and no matter what I do it’s going to come out?

Lydia G.

Dear Lydia,

First, stop wiggling it.  Seriously. Back away from the tooth. There are rubbery ligaments that bond your teeth to your jawbone. If they’re stretched too much, they’ll snap.  Once you’ve stopped messing with the tooth, I want you to schedule an emergency dental appointment.

Your dentist will try to stabilize the tooth. They’ll either put a splint on it or bond it to a neighbor tooth in the hopes it will heal itself up.  If the pulp of the tooth is damaged, you’ll need a root canal treatment and possibly a crown, but your tooth will still be saved.  You’re trying to avoid needing an extraction and tooth replacement.

How long it will take to heal (if it does), depends a lot on the amount of damage done. Teeth that can be repaired can take anywhere from a few weeks to many months.

While you’re waiting on your emergency appointment, be careful to baby the tooth. Only soft foods, and try to avoid using it to chew. The more you bite down on it the more damage you’ll do. It wouldn’t hurt to take some anti-inflammatory medicine to help with any swelling.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. David Potts.

Are dental implants the only solution for a dead tooth?

I have a dead tooth for years. It’s quite embarrassing, but my husband always made me feel beautiful anyway.  He passed away a few months ago. I’ve been getting by on savings until now, but it’s not going to last much longer. I need to get a job, but I’m afraid I won’t be able to get one with this tooth. I went to a dentist and he said I needed a dental implant. I almost choked when I heard the cost. I don’t even have that much money, let alone have the ability to pay it out for one thing. Is there any other treatment?

Audrey C. – Delaware


I am very sorry for your loss. Few things are worse than losing your life companion, and it sounds like you had a great one. You’re right that appearance can affect your job prospects. It’s not fair that we’re judged by our appearance instead of our character and qualifications, but it is a fact of life we have to learn to deal with.

There are other ways to replace a tooth. I’m quite annoyed the dentist you went to didn’t mention them. In fact, he or she is under an ethical obligation to make sure you’re aware of all your treatment options.

My suggestion is you look into getting a dental crown or a dental bridge (if there is not enough bone structure left to support a crown).

A dental crown just fits over the damaged tooth. A bridge has a false tooth suspended between two crowns. Both of these are less expensive than a dental implant.

You can also get a dental flipper which is even cheaper, but I’d consider that one a last resort. They’re not as stable. But, it will function as a temporary measure until you have a job and can save up for a better treatment.

This blog is brought to you by Libertyville Dentist Dr. David Potts.