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What does a dark shadow within tooth and below gum line suggest in dental X-ray?

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Practicing since : 2010
Answered : 390 Questions
During a recent dental cleaning and check-up an x-ray showed a large dark shadow totally within a tooth, and below the gum line. Several years ago I had a cosmetic crown placed on the tooth. I believe if was referred to as number 7 or the right upper front by the two front teeth. The last x-ray of that tooth 1 1/2 years ago showed nothing. There is no pain or other symtoms associated with it. My email address is YYYY@YYYY
Posted Wed, 8 Jan 2014 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Bibhu Dutt Nanda 18 minutes later
Brief Answer: dental decay Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for writing to us. I would like to inform you that a black shadow may not always depict a pathology, usually dark shadows are normally present in the x-rays until you have a tooth infection or an associated swelling. I am glad to hear that you don't have any pain in the concerned tooth. In your case, I believe reason for placing the crown was either extensive dental decay or following root canal treatment.... In either of the cases tooth has decay which appears as a dark shadow on the x-ray and once the decay is removed by the dentist, shadows are no more present. I hope I answered your query, Feel free to ask more questions, I wish you good health, Take care.
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Follow-up: What does a dark shadow within tooth and below gum line suggest in dental X-ray? 25 minutes later
The crown was placed on the tooth as purely a cosmetic procedure there was no decay at the time, nor a root canal. All of the affected area has developed since the last checkup 1 1/2 years ago. I expect your answer may remain the same, I just wanted to clarify that fact. The area affected on the tooth is large and the dentist who did the check-up said I would likely loose the tooth, and didn't think a root canal would save it. Because of the rapid development he thought it could be an injury or tumor.
Answered by Dr. Bibhu Dutt Nanda 7 minutes later
Brief Answer: root canal treatment Detailed Answer: Hi, Thank you for writing back. I am glad to receive important piece of information from your side. If a recent dental check up by your dentist suggests removal of the tooth then the shadow is from a chronic tooth infection which has developed a over a long period of time. In such cases, tooth has lost sensitivity and the shadow is from the healing tissue that forms as a defense mechanism of your body against infection. It is advised to perform a root canal treatment only if the prognosis is good or it is better to remove the tooth to prevent further expansion of the shadow. I hope you received the answer to your question, If you have any further query I will be glad to answer it. Thank you. Take care.
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