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Tooth colour changed to black. Painful while eating hard or cold. What treatment should be done?

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Dentist, Pedodontics
Practicing since : 1981
Answered : 24 Questions
Dear Dentist / Dental Surgeon,

About two months ago, one of my incisors at the bottom got partially chipped while having dinner. I just left it like that (since I live in a third world country (foreign country) and have no dental insurance or anything) and now I can see the color of my tooth has turned partially black and the remaining tooth behind shows more blackish cracks. It's painful only when I bite something hard with it or when something really cold gets in there. It's still somewhat bearable but how long do I have til it completely decays? I mean of course I want to get it taken care of by a dentist in my country but I'm not able to go back at the moment. MY MAIN QUESTION IS - If I leave it like this for another few months, will I end up getting an implant surgery? Or will simple crowning take care of it? What would be the best thing to do at this moment aside from just brushing my tooth? I mean how long does it take until it turns completely black and becomes extremely painful?
I know India has very good dentists and dental technology but since I'm a foreigner how much would it cost to get this taken care of? If I can't go back to my country for some reason, I will go to India. But how much does it cost for foreigners without dental insurance like me? How many rupees? Right now I'm in a really remote, economically VERY poor, small country where there are no good doctors / dentists.
Posted Sat, 18 Aug 2012 in Dental Health
Answered by Dr. Amitabha Chakraborty 2 hours later

Thank you for the query.

I will try to explain all your queries. Injury to a tooth from any kind of trauma( in your case- biting something hard) may lead to tearing or laceration of the nerve bundles and tiny blood vessels that enters into the tooth through a hole present at the end tip of the root, inside jaw bone. If those structures are lacerated, there are remote possibility that it will repair and function normally. Slowly the nerve / blood vessel that present inside the tooth(pulp) get degenerated. And the tip of the root area will become a focal site of infection. If blood vessels inside the tooth lacerates, there will be bleeding inside the tooth, the blood will enter in the tine canals present in the dentin of a tooth. Slowly the blood cells get degenerated and produces a kind of pigment, that cause the tooth become discolored.

Now what you are suffering from is an infection around the tip of the root(apex). A simple course of antibiotic (Amoxicillin + Clavulanic Acid ) for a week will relieve you problem for the time being. If it is a question of few months you can manage this with courses of antibiotic. Bot it may recur at any time. The final treatment should be Root canal treatment(RCT) followed by a veneer over your tooth( to cover up discoloration) or post retained crown according to the condition of your tooth. Question of implant comes only when you remove this tooth and I think you would not like to do it.You can normally brush your teeth. It may take years to to change the color of our tooth to become completely black. It may not happen always.

An honest dental practitioner should not make difference in the charges from an Indian and from a foreigner. The charges of RCT and veneering/ crowning varies from practitioner to practitioner and types of material used. Roughly I can say The charge of RCT varies from Rs. 2000/= to Rs. 5000/=, and veneering/ crowning also varies from INR 2000 ($40) to INR 5000 ($100).

I hope I am answered your query in detail. Your are most welcome if you have any further query.

Get well soon.
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