Whitening a Single Dark Tooth

If you have one tooth that is dark but all the other teeth are white, is there anything you can do to make that tooth match the others? The answer is yes, there are ways you can correct a single dark tooth to be the same color as your other teeth. When a tooth turns dark, there is a reason why. In terms of your oral health, first, you need to get to the cause.

Your Fuquay-Varina dentist and team at Hamby Family Dental Center will help you discover the cause of your dark tooth. We can treat it and restore your beautiful smile.

The Difference Between “Discolored” and “Dark”

Whitening a Single Dark Tooth

There is a difference between a discolored tooth and a dark one. In most cases, you don’t experience only one tooth becoming discolored, your entire smile discolors. Possible reasons why teeth become more yellow than other teeth include staining due to foods and drinks and certain medications. Most of the time, when teeth are discolored, either the enamel is wearing thin or the tooth has stained. When the outer enamel layer has worn thin, the yellow dentin underneath is exposed. Certain acidic foods and drinks, (e.g., lemons and sodas) can cause the enamel layer to become thin. Whitening is a solution to get your teeth back to their original color when you have discoloration.

On the other hand, when one tooth is darker, it is often due either to interior damage or to decay. Tooth trauma like an injury to the tooth causes a tooth to darken. In this case, whitening the tooth is not the solution.  A dark tooth is similar to a bruise. When a tooth is injured, there is minor damage to the tooth pulp, which is the living part of the tooth. The pulp can recover and, over time, the tooth returns to its original brightness.

Reasons and Treatments for a Dark Tooth

1.) Metal Amalgam Fillings

Amalgam fillings may start out being silver, but with time they can tarnish and turn black. Not only can the filling turn black but also the entire tooth. Even if the initial filling isn’t visible, the darkening effect may be.

Treatment Metal Amalgam Fillings

The treatment is to remove the old filling and correct the coloring by covering the tooth with a dental crown or veneer.

2.) Tooth Trauma

A tooth can become dark when it experiences trauma. The injury doesn’t have to the serious for the tooth to darken. The pulp can recover and, sometimes, the tooth returns to its original color over time. This takes much longer than a bruise on your skin and the tooth doesn’t always brighten. If the injury to the tooth is more serious and has caused the root to die, you will need a root canal.

Treatment for Tooth Trauma

When you have a tooth that has been injured and the root has died, a root canal is the preferred treatment. A root canal removes the pulp from the tooth. Then, a crown is used to cover the tooth and match your other teeth.

3.) Tooth Decay

As a tooth decays, it turns dark. At first, the darkness may only be at the point where there is decay. However, as the decay worsens, the entire tooth will begin to look darker. Decay can cause a tooth to die when it reaches the tooth’s pulp. When bacteria move into the tooth pulp, an infection begins and needs to be removed through root canal therapy.

Treatment Tooth Decay

If your tooth is dark because of decay that has created an infection in the pulp, a root canal is necessary to remove the root. Afterward, a dental crown is used to give the tooth its original bright color again.

The Best Solution for Teeth Discoloration

Professional Teeth Whitening with Your Dentist

If you have discolored teeth, consider having your teeth whitened by your dentist. Over years of drinking colas, tea, coffee, and red wine, your teeth may have discolored and show age. Or maybe you have used tobacco products that have caused your teeth to become darker over time. Bleaching (whitening) your teeth will help you make a better first impression and improve your smile. This procedure is an affordable solution and does not involve any dental work as some other cosmetic procedures such as veneers, dental implants, and dental bonding.

You can expect to lighten the color several shades with a teeth-whitening process. A dental professional’s whitening system is stronger than do-it-yourself methods.

Benefits you can achieve with a teeth whitening procedure done at your dentist’s office:

  • The whitening solution is more potent and effective than over-the-counter products.
  • Your dental team ensures your teeth are healthy and in good condition for whitening to prevent damage or sensitivity.
  • Professional whitening can last up to five years with proper care.
  • Overusing DIY teeth whitening products can damage enamel, leaving you more prone to sensitivity and decay.

Contact Hamby Family Dental Center to Schedule an Appointment for Correcting a Dark Tooth or Teeth Whitening

Our team at Hamby Family Dental Center takes the utmost care in providing you with a safe and comfortable experience. We are currently accepting new patients and look forward to ensuring that your teeth are healthy and restored to a beautiful color. Call us at  919-552-2431 or complete the form below to schedule an appointment for your oral health.

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