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Old 12-09-2013, 16:21
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Join Date: Mar 2010
Posts: 2,253
I have had one veneer done on one of my front teeth but that was only to cover a tooth that had died and started going grey. Apparently you can't whiten dead teeth and the only option was to get a veneer. However the dentist was very good and made sure the mould of my old tooth was taken and did an exact colour match. My teeth were always nice and straight and I did it as I was concious of the discolouration.
I had a dead front tooth whitened (previous dentist messed up, gave me a root canal I didn't need, then said "oh, your tooth will go brown but there's nothing we can do about that without a crown". That's when I changed dentists to a friend of mine - the only reason I hadn't changed before was that my previous dentist offered Denplan and my friend didn't (if you live in Jersey, where all dentists are private, things like that matter - so many children here have appalling teeth because parents can't always afford treatment) but I was desperate by then and willing to pay anything to sort out my dead tooth! The first thing my friend said as my dentist (not as my friend - he's very professional in his consulting rooms) was "I've noticed your tooth, obviously - would you like me to fix it for you?".

He explained that when tooth dies it's basically like a bruise on the inside of the tooth - that's why externally-applied bleaching treatments won't do any good. My dentist made me a clear mouth guard, then drilled off the back of my tooth and I had to fill the guard with bleach for three days to basically bleach it from the inside. Obviously my tooth was very vulnerable, and very thin, for those three days - I was terrified of shattering it altogether and ending up worse off - but three days later the tooth was white again instead of a horrible, mucky brown colour. (Can't say the mouth guard survived unscathed - I had to live on soup for duration and made the mistake of eating carrot soup and turning the mouth guard orange. Very embarrassing!). Anyway, the back of the tooth was filled again with white filling and off I went with a lovely white tooth again. That was 10 years ago and I haven't needed anything doing to the tooth, or the filling, since although I know eventually the filling will need replacing. Even my dentist friend can't remember which tooth he fixed until he looks to see which one has the filling behind it!

So, if anyone else with a dead tooth has been told it can't be fixed without drastic veneer/crown treatments that's not necessarily true (although obviously your circumstances may have been different precluding internal bleaching?). It cost me 150 10 years ago, not sure what it would cost now though. But, to me, it was a price worth paying so I could smile again after so long being embarrassed about my dead tooth, and a far less drastic option than a crown or veneer.

Tidy up/straighten/bleach by all means - I've had braces top and bottom - but I don't get why some people (like Rylan) want to end up looking like a freak show with mad veneers/crowns that have also permanently wrecked any natural (and possibly perfectly ok) teeth they had. At 46 I'm fighting tooth and nail to keep my own teeth and so far I'm succeeding! After all, there is no going back once you've taken the drastic route.
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