My four year old daughter had an accident while playing outside and hit her face pretty hard. She was left with a tooth that is dead and turned gray. When I took her to my dentist, he basically said to just leave it alone. Since she isn’t in pain and it will fall out anyway, he’s recommending that we wait it out until her permanent tooth comes in. Theoretically, that sounds good, I guess. I’m just paranoid she will be made fun of when she starts school and by her friends. Is it possible to get the tooth whitened at a cosmetic dentist? Obviously my current dentist isn’t on the same page, but I don’t want her confidence to be negatively affected. Do you think another dentist could fix it?
-Denise in Massachusetts
Unfortunately, teeth whitening really isn’t ideal under the circumstances. Teeth whitening is effective on surface stains. The gray tooth that is a result of a trauma, means the discoloration is occurring on the inside of the tooth. Some cosmetic dentists can administer tooth whitening inside the tooth. But for a child, it really isn’t an ideal situation because it requires much patient cooperation.
Although, you have every right to be concerned about the aesthetics of your daughter’s smile. You may be surprised to learn that typically children don’t really notice something like this. Many children begin losing teeth in Kindergarten or first grade, so many of the kiddos will have gaps in their smile, etc. It really may not be a bid deal at all. Since she will likely be losing this tooth in the next year or so, your dentist is probably right. The tooth may be best left alone.
Now, if you notice there is any pain or discomfort caused by the gray tooth, then additional treatment should be sought out. Otherwise, try to relax. She probably will remember nothing of the incident and will not have long lasting issues, since it is such a short time before the tooth will naturally fall out.