If you have an older dental crown, you might be surprised to see a subtle change that has occurred over the years. A black line around the dental crown has appeared. Unfortunately, this isn’t an uncommon issue. Porcelain-fused-to-metal was the most natural-looking restoration used in the past. Now, there’s another option. Metal-free crowns look just like your real teeth without causing a shadow when you smile.
Causes of Black Lines Near Crown
Older dental crowns containing metal are prone to causing shadows near the base of the restoration. Typically, they are caused by one of two things:
The most common culprit of a dark line is from the metal layer showing. Older crowns have a metal framework to add strength to the weaker top layer of porcelain. Although a black line may not have been noticeable when the crown was placed, it was likely hidden under the gum line. As the crown loses its fit with your tooth or gum recession occurs, the line will become visible.
Shadow Around the Crown
Rarely, the dark line is caused by an optical illusion. A poorly fitting crown can cast a shadow over the surrounding gum tissue. They tend not to be as dark as the lines caused by metal showing and are generally only a cosmetic concern.
Treating Black Lines Near a Crown
Whether the line is caused by metal or a shadow, it’s best to have the crown replaced. If it isn’t meeting the gum line properly, it can leave you at risk of decay occurring in the small crevasse. Trapped bacteria can also irritate the gum tissue near the base of the crown, which can lead to an infection. Although lines caused by an older crown aren’t necessarily threatening to your oral health, it can create aesthetic concerns. No matter the reason, your dentist can replace your restoration to preserve the health and appearance of your smile.
After your old crown has been removed, your dentist will treat any decay or damage before preparing your tooth for the new crown. After it has been prepped, your dentist will take a digital scan of your tooth, so there is no need to hold a messy material in your mouth for several minutes. The data from the scan is sent to state-of-the-art software, where your dentist will design your crown to meet your exact specifications. Finally, the information is sent to an in-office milling machine that cuts your crown from a single block of all-ceramic material in about 1 hour. You won’t need to worry about a temporary crown or a second appointment.
After just one afternoon, you can say goodbye to the black lines around your crown. Discover the difference with all-ceramic restorations.
About Dr. Pamela West
Dr. West has over 30 years of experience in dentistry. Besides earning her dental degree, she has completed advanced training at the Las Vegas Institute. She combines her training with advancements in dentistry to provide superior services, like CEREC crowns. If you’re interested in a same-day crown, contact our office today to schedule your consultation.