You might wonder why some people with dental crowns have an unsightly gray area near their gum line. At BOCO Dental & Prosthodontics, we get a lot of inquiries about the dark margin that can appear at the edge of a dental crown. Sometimes a gray line is apparent immediately, and sometimes discoloration can become more pronounced over time. This article explains why…
Metal Margin Show Through
Porcelain fused metal (PFM) crowns or ‘caps’ have been the standard material for crowns for the last fifty years. With this solution the tooth is covered with a thin layer of metal, and then porcelain is fused to the metal substrate. The metal gives the porcelain support. The downside to PFM crowns is sometimes the metal underneath can show through. This happens for two reasons: the outer porcelain layer wears away, and/or the individual’s gums recede.
Although crowns are highly durable — often lasting for years — our gums tend to recede naturally with age. The best way to mitigate gum recession is good oral hygiene. Along with brushing, we recommend Dr. Tung’s smart floss to our patients.
Recurrent decay along the margin of a crown often shows as dark. Decay can develop in a patient with low salivary flow, poor oral hygiene, or an unfavorable diet. A poorly fitting crown allows bacteria to get in at the margins, especially if gums are not healthy.
Dark Tooth Structure
Sometimes the actual color or the tooth underneath the crown is dark. If so, there are several ways to try and conceal the darkness. Often, we can lower the margin so it is slightly beneath your gums. We can also choose more opaque materials that better mask the dark color of the underlying tooth.
The last decade ushered in a new array of non-metallic materials that offer durability and superior aesthetics.
Hybrid composites and particle-filled ceramics have expanded the possibilities for dynamic life-like dental crowns — with translucency and staining — that mimic the appearance of natural teeth. Dr. Patt works with highly skilled lab technicians to deliver a personalized product — so the outcome is a dental crown that looks and feels like your own tooth.
The advantages of ceramic crowns:
- less abrasive to natural teeth
- no metal show through
- less tooth removal
- better aesthetics
The final restoration is only as good as your prosthodontist’s meticulous planning and judgment — and the crafting that’s done at the lab. We strive to offer the most up-to-date technologies to enhance our patients’ experiences.
A high-quality crown has the right dimensions, texture, proportions, contours, translucency, opalescence, and marginal fit. From the choice of materials to the equipment employed, BOCO Dental ensures the highest level of accuracy. The crowns we deliver demonstrate exceptional marginal fit.
“With lithium disilicate and zirconia, we have much better options for crowns than we had during the last generation of dentistry.” — Dr. Patt
Ask about CEREC crown technology now available at BOCO Dental & Prosthodontics. You might be a candidate for a high-quality dental crown that’s created on-site and fitted during a single office visit.
Dental crowns restore structure and functionality to damaged teeth — and they should also enhance your smile! So if you notice a dark margin around your dental crown, book an appointment and we’ll determine the best solution for you.