Ben and Gary Show - Episode 58

Aug 15, 2019

When Porcelain Crowns Show Metal 

We were asked:

What does it mean and what do I do if my porcelain crown has a black ring at the gum line or the porcelain is chipped and metal shows? The doc answers in this episode.

Chipped porcelain on crowns

Most of our crowns have been made of a glass-ceramic material that looks like a natural tooth fused to metal. In our mouths, this glass material is subject to the force of chewing, hot and cold, and acidic foods. It is vulnerable to chips.

Chips may or may not be a problem.

  • If they occur between teeth, food can be trapped, gums irritated and subject to gum disease.
  • If they create a rough surface, they can irritate your tongue
  • If they are visible when you smile, they can make you self conscious

If you notice chips, see your dentist. He may smooth rough surfaces, monitor for problems, or recommend a cosmetic remedy.

Black metal showing at gum line of a crown

 Ceramic to metal fused crowns have a seam at the base. When the crown is placed, this seam is below the gum line and doesn't show. Over time, with a bit of gum recession, the metal seam becomes visible.

No action may be needed unless the seal of the crown at the gum line is broken. In that case, replacing the crown is necessary. If the tooth is visible when smiling or talking, you may choose to replace it. 

Good news

Today many crowns are fabricated without any metal. X-rays can see through the crown. The metal based crowns block x-rays, hiding potential problems.





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