I am told that dental crowns, including Procera and IPS Empress used on front teeth will eventually develop a dark line near the gumline. Is this true?
—Gloria from Connecticut
On the lower picture, those crowns have been replaced with all-porcelain crowns, as part of a complete smile makeover that this woman had. There is no more dark line at the gumline.
With porcelain fused to metal, the line is black, very noticeable and ugly. Often, laboratory technicians will cut back the metal at the gumline. This makes the line less noticeable, but because of the opaquer that has to still be used, it is very difficult to get the invisible color transition that is fairly easy to get with bonded porcelain. With Procera, depending on how it is done, it may be more like a dark line, maybe a gray line, and it will be more subtle—it won’t be so noticeable.
Dentists who are serious about cosmetic dentistry will have a strong aversion to doing porcelain fused to metal crowns on front teeth. My advice, though, if you’re concerned about the possibility of this dark line at the gumline, is not to ask your dentist to do an all-porcelain crown unless you are offered that as one of your choices. Dentists who know how to do these more esthetic crowns will strongly prefer them, and if you are not given that as an option, it’s an indication that your dentist doesn’t know how to do them well. If it’s important to you, look for a dentist on our referral list who knows how to do these. That’s the best way to avoid the dark line at the gumline.
—Dr. David Hall
- Someone asks about wedding cosmetic dentistry—how to get a new smile in one appointment, if time is a big issue. Direct tooth bonding is the answer, and Dr. Hall explains how this works, showing some photos of a wedding case.
- Read about the new GlamSmile technique that claims to give you a less expensive smile makeover.
- Is it too much to expect my cosmetic dentist to get a perfect match for my front tooth porcelain crown? I’ve been through six crowns and it still doesn’t look right.
- A question about the eroding away of the enamel on the inside surfaces of the teeth. Dr. Hall explains that this is a consequence of bulimia.
- I asked my dentist to do an ovate pontic for my dental bridge, but he says the ovate pontic technique, where the false tooth is made to look like it is growing out of the gum, can only be used when there is a freshly extracted tooth. Is that true?
- Some dentists are asking you to let them put Lumineers over the crowns, rather than replacing the crowns. Dr. Hall explains why this is a bad idea.