Black Line Removal on Porcelain Crowns

What is the black line around my tooth?

Everyone wants a smile that is not embarrassing. Who wants to be self-conscious of the space between crown and gum line when you have photographs taken? So what causes a black gum line around your tooth? When clients come to see us for a consultation, one of their chief concerns is the edge of their crown is dark. Often they say that the black lines around their crown shows up in pictures. They are also worried that, if they receive more porcelain crowns and veneers, eventually they will see the same dark, ugly line around those also. This is something that should not happen, or even be anticipated, when considering any type of cosmetic dentistry that involves porcelain crowns or veneers.

So, let’s go over the reasons why these dark lines appear, and what we do at Sedona Dentist Chris Marsh’s office to avoid them:

Black Line removal on dental crowns

Metal-Based Porcelain Crowns & Gum Recession

Traditionally, porcelain crowns are made up of porcelain fused to a silver-colored metal base. (PFMs).   This base, usually an alloy of either precious or semi-precious materials, is used because, when cemented to the tooth, it gives strength to the porcelain and helps prevent fractures. Unfortunately, as it reaches the gum line, the porcelain gets thinner and thinner; eventually, the metal base will reflect through.

The crown in the front of your mouth usually done slightly under the gum line in order to hide the edge (the margin) of the crown.  If this margin is exposed a dark line will appear. Sometimes people see this dark area and believe it is decay, when in reality it is the metal showing near the gum line.

The crown may look good originally. But as the gum recedes throughout the years it reveals the thinner section of the porcelain, and the dark lines appear again after years of use.

Cheaper Non-Precious Metals Used

Many times these old-style crowns have a metal base made of cheaper, non-precious metals, such as tin. These metals can eventually leak out and tattoo the gum edges – and, once again, a dark line will appear. Often females develop an allergy to these metals over time, and the gums become irritated and bluish in appearance at the edges.

Ill-Fitting Porcelain Crown

If the porcelain fused to metal crowns do not completely fit the tooth or seal it well, staining will eventually collect at the tooth’s edges. This is not just a dark-line-issue at this point; it can eventually damage the underlying tooth by allowing micro leakage of bacteria and plaque to start the process of decay.

Black Line Removal on Porcelain Crowns

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Dr. Marsh takes every precaution to avoid these conditions completely. Often, instead of  metal-based porcelain crowns we will use a non-metal ceramic crown.  The more contemporary porcelains and ceramic crowns are extremely durable and are often bonded to the teeth, rather than cemented. This gives strength to the ceramic porcelain and also avoids  fractures.

When it comes to bonding porcelain crowns or veneers, we are extremely meticulous and fastidious in creating a glass-like finish against the tooth. This both minimizes staining at the tooth edges and prevents any leakage underneath them.

To find out what sets Chris Marsh DMD apart when it comes to helping patients repair their teeth without marring the quality of their smile, please call 928-282-3246 or complete our online contact form today. Highly rated Sedona Dentist Chris Marsh serves patients in and around Sedona, Cottonwood, Clarkdale, Cornville, and the Village of Oak Creek, AZ