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Dental crowns

Dental crowns are permanent tooth covers that are cemented to chipped, cracked or broken teeth to improve their appearance and function.

Can the color of a tooth be black without decay?

Ramin Tabib (New York, NY) on Dec 21, 2011
The color of a tooth can be very dark or almost black because of tetracycline staining. This happens in utero if the mother takes the antibiotic tetracycline.
Amanda Seay (Mount Pleasant, SC) on Dec 21, 2011
The black or grey discoloration on natural tooth structure may be due to root canal therapy that was performed on a tooth. A tooth that has a root canal is essentially a non-vital tooth and can become discolored over time. Another possibility is if you had an amalgam restoration in that tooth for a long period of time. Even if the amalgam is removed there still may be a dark discoloration that remains. It is like a tattoo on the tooth.
Michael Apa (New York, NY) on Dec 21, 2011
It's usually a sign of the tooth dying. When the nerve dies, the blood supply is cut off to the tooth, causing the discoloration. It may need a root canal in the future, and is difficult to match the color. If you need further help, you coud always come in and let me take a look.
Christopher Baer (Aurora, CO) on Dec 21, 2011
Yes it is possible. It is hard to say why the teeth are dark without actually seeing you and your teeth. It could be that some of the agent used to control bleeding has caused this response, especially if it was used when the crowns were cemented. It will continue to grow under the crowns and cause them to discolor. Some cements that are used can cause this as well.