Dental crowns, also called dental caps, are dental repairs which completely caps or encircles a tooth. When a large cavity threatens the health of a tooth typically dental crowns are often needed. Sometimes a crown or “dental cap” is used to treat the tooth cosmetically.
I am often asked – what is the difference between an all-ceramic crown and a porcelain fused to metal crown. Older dental crowns were commonly made with metal as the core material on the inside and a thin layer of porcelain was baked to the metal. This is for strength. The problem is that metal is dark and needs a layer of opaque porcelain to cover it. Porcelain-fused to metal crowns are typically more opaque than all ceramic crowns. The other problem some people have is that porcelain and metal crowns can show a dark line if the gum tissue recedes. This can be fixed by placing a newer ceramic crown that has no grey metal underneath and what is called a porcelain butt shoulder in which the porcelain goes all the way to the tooth.
Not all dental crowns have metal on the insides. Crowns made with Zirconia (a white metal like substance) have a white center. Other dental crowns have a ceramic core, such as alumina or zirconia. These cores are extremely strong, and do not need as much opaque porcelain to cover them.
Dental crowns are commonly used to cover teeth and are made of porcelain or ceramic. People with crowns sometime have a black line at the top of the crown or a dark line between their crown and the gum line. This is because their dental crown has a layer of metal covered by a layer of porcelain to look like a tooth. The junction of the metal and the porcelain causes the dark line or a black line at the edge of the crown. When the crown was first placed, the junction may have been just below the gum line, and over the years the gum recedes and the black line above the crown shows. We serve patients in Sedona, Cottonwood, Clarkdale, the Village of Oak Creek and the surrounding areas; and a common internet search is “how to get rid of the black line above crown”.