I had four porcelain veneers placed. For a while, I was having some pain that I thought was from a sinus infection. It turns out I have a periapical abscess. Will this ruin my porcelain veneer? I heard root canals turn teeth dark. Should I avoid the treatment and just live with the pain?
First things first, don’t avoid the treatment. An abscess is an infection. All tooth infections are considered dental emergencies because of the danger if they spread. A periapical abscess is close to the bone. Infections spread and you don’t want it spreading to the bone. This needs to be treated. That being said, I’m concerned that you ended up needing one to begin with. Most dentists go their entire careers without having a tooth, which had a porcelain veneer placed, need a root canal treatment.
Those I know of which have, it is because the dentist was too aggressive in the treatment.
When you prepare teeth for porcelain veneers it doesn’t remove much structure at all. It is a little over the depth of a fingernail. When that happens, there is hardly any stress to the tooth. However, some dentists do much more aggressive tooth preparation, which risks stressing the tooth and make it more vulnerable.
There are even some dentists, who are either less reputable or less skilled, who will do porcelain crowns and just call them porcelain veneers. Below you can see what porcelain crown preparation looks like.
With that, there is a much greater risk of stress to the tooth which can lead to other problems. Hopefully, this isn’t what happened to you.
Keeping Your Porcelain Veneer White Longer with a Root Canal Treatment
Here is the strategy I will suggest for your root canal treatment.
First, make sure they clean out ALL the material from the crown of the tooth. Then, instead of placing the “normal” root canal material, which is the cause of most darkening of the tooth, they need to place a white fiberglass post down into the root and then fill the remainder of the space with a light-colored composite material.
Doing this will keep your tooth whiter for much longer than you would otherwise be able to with a root canal.
This blog is brought to you by Dr. Susan Dennis of Portage, MI.