Would a Porcelain Crown Cause my Gums to Darken?

Hi. I had a root canal on my front tooth 10 years ago and now it's quite discolored. I'm about to get a porcelain crown, but am hesitant if it would be the best approach. Should I just leave the discolored tooth alone? I'm not too confident with any of the dentists here on Dublin because it's hard to find information regarding their skills. Also, on occassion, I've seen people with black, darkened lines in between their gums and teeth. Are they cause by Crown or Veneer, may I ask? Any views?

Doctor Answers 20

Front tooth darkened after root canal therapy

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If a tooth that requires root canal therpy discolors, it is an indication that the nerve inside the tooth had died and blood pigments have broken down and been absorbed into the calcified tooth structure.  By placing an all ceramic porcelain crown on the tooth, it can restore the tooth to match its neighbors.  The newer all porcelain crowns are an esthetic improvement over older, porcelain fused to metal crowns as if the gumline would receed, the older crowns often showed a metal edge to the crown that originally was hidden from view.  Since the all porcelain crowns have no metal, no markings are evident if the gumline receeds.

Laurel Dentist

Black lines around crowns can be a couple of things.

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Sometimes the black line is caused by metal used as the substructure of the crown showing from beneath the porcelain.  Sometimes the tooth itself beneath the crown is dark and expose by recession creating a dark zone.

Another possibility is that the tooth is a normal color but the use of metal or other opaque materials blocks light transmission into the tooth.  This light normally bounces around in the tooth and some of it bounces back out of the tooth through the gums which makes the gums appear bright an vibrant.  An opaque materials stops this light transmission and can make the gums appear dark due to the lack of this "backlighting" effect.  Depending on which of these issues is causing the problem, the solution may involve replacing the crown with a more natural looking material, bleaching the root or altering the gum level.  Sometimes we can improve substantially but not perfect these teeth.  It all depends on which of these problems is the cause.  Be sure you find a dentist who is especially adept at cosmetic concerns so you do not get the same problem again.

John Whittemore, DDS
Memphis Dentist

All ceramic crown will nor darken the gum around your front tooth

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For front teeth, its best to go with All ceramic crowns as they will not darken your gums. In Metal porcelain crowns there is a small metal margin near the gums which starts showing through over a period of time. While all ceramic crowns have no such black margin. There are a variety of all ceramic crowns available these days. check with your dentist to choose which one works best for you. Gaurav K. Goel  MDS Prosthodontics India 

Gaurav K. Goel, MDS
India Dentist

All Porcelain Crown Will not Cause Dark Gums

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Dark gums are usually due to Porcelain fused to metal crowns, where the metal margin of the crown shows through the gums. An all porcelain crown will not cause the gums to darken, especially if the margin of the crown is tucked slightly under the gums. However, if the tooth under the crown is dark or stained due to a root canal treatment, then it needs to be bleached internally before the crown is fabricated and cemented. All porcelain crowns with proper shade selection and proper stain blockers should look very natural without a dark line under the gums.




Arthur Kezian, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

All porcelain crowns won't cause your gums to darken.

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Just make sure the crown is all ceramic, and not porcelain fused to metal (PFM), and you will not have to worry about your gums darkening.

Steve Alper, DMD
New York Dentist

All procelain Crowns will not cause gums to darken

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Make sure that the crown being placed is all porcelainand not a porcelain fused to metal crown.  Both are very functional and lasting, but in areas of esthetic concern with thin gum tissue the thin metal margingn of a PFM crown may show through the gums giving the appearance of dark gums.  IT is not a discoloration, just the gray color of the metal seen through thin tissue.  All porcelain will not cause this

Brian Dorfman, MD, DMD
Phoenix Oral & Maxillofacial Surgeon

Porcelain Crowns and Dark Gum Lines

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If you decide to do a porcelain crown on that tooth, make sure it is ALL porcelain and not porcelain fused to metal.  The metal causes that discoloration along the gum line.  If there is enough tooth structure left, you can always place a porcelain veneer. Third solution would be to do an internal bleaching process which would whiten the tooth from the inside out. Since you do not have access the dentists credentials in Dublin, I would suggest you get a number of opinions from dentists who do these procedures and go with the one you feel is the most competent.

George Koutsoukos, DDS
Valencia Dentist

Would a porcelain crown cause my gums to darken

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In answer to your question, no, a porcelain crown will not cause your gums to darken. However, if you have previously had a root canal on a tooth and the tooth after a number of years has discolored, if there is adequate tooth structure remaining, you may be a candidate for internal bleaching. That is a process that by going into the back side of the tooth and opening up the access where the root canal was done, a bleaching pellet can be placed repeatedly until the color of the tooth lightens.  If this process is not an option, or the color it lightens to is not satisfactory, then a crown would be indicated in this instance. You need to know, that a dark root may show through very thin tissue and that it is not the crown that is causing the discoloration, that is if it is an all porcelain crown. It the crown has a color of metal, that would be a concern in possible showing through your tissue and giving it a dark area at the gumline.  Consult with your dentist first, and make sure all your questions are answered so as not to have any surprises along the way.

Susan G. Rifkin, DDS
Atlanta Dentist

Porcelain crown is a good option!

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The people you observed may have crowns that are porcelain with metal, after some time if periodontal problems are present there can be gum/bone loss causing the root & or the metal to be exposed which does look dark.  Now in between the teeth there may be other issues, they can have fillings that are not properly sealed which can darken over time & even natural teeth can look darkened in the presence of periodontal problems or car.  In your case a full porcelain crown is a great option since it looks very natural.  There are some options as far as materials that can be used, so make sure to ask as many questions you need to see which will be your best option.

Javier Garcia, DDS
Los Angeles Dentist

Porcelain crowns do not create dark lines or shadows

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If you had your root canal done 10 years ago and tooth is still in a good condition (enough sound tooth structure) you might be a good candidate for a porcelain veneer. If  you have a lot of natural tooth missing, then you woud be better off with a crown. The determination can be done after consultation with dental specialist, which I would highly reccomend. Full porcelain crowns do not create any dark lines or shadows at the gum line, do not worry about that.

Zina Kaleinikova, DDS, MS
Cleveland Dentist

These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.