What’s This Black Line Around My Dental Crown?


Dental crowns are quick fixes to all kinds of dental problems, and they’re so subtle that if you have one, you may have forgotten that it was there. So you might be a little surprised if you notice that an older dental crown has developed a line around it.

This can be pretty scary, but the problem really isn’t as serious as it seems. If you’re wondering why you have this problem, here’s what could be causing the black line around your dental crown.

Why Do I Have This Problem?

If you think back to when you first got your dental crown, you may remember that it isn’t just the porcelain exterior you see on a day-to-day basis. Many older dental crowns used a Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) design, where a small ring of metal is attached to the porcelain to give the crown some more durability.

As you get older, or if you have gum disease, it’s possible for your gums to start to recede away from your teeth. If this happens while you have a PFM crown, the metal ring around the base of the crown could start to become visible. This may look like a black line around your tooth.

How Do I Address This Issue?

Thankfully, the black ring around your crown isn’t due to disease or decay. However, the problem also can’t be addressed by medicine or cleaning—you need to replace the PFM crown with a kind that doesn’t have a metal base.

In some cases, your dentist may also recommend getting treated for gum disease if that’s the cause of your gum recession.

What Other Kinds of Dental Crowns Are There?

If you’re replacing a PFM crown to get rid of a black line, you could potentially use another PFM crown better suited to your mouth. However, that means that you would have the same problem as before later down the line. You could also use an all-metal or golden crown, but this is hardly the most aesthetic choice.

Recently, all-porcelain and zirconia dental crowns have become more popular—they’re strong, durable, and don’t have the black ring around the tooth that could start to show if the gums recede.

About Our Practice

Welcome to the practice of Grant D. Ringler, DDS! Everyone at our practice comes to work each day with one mission in mind: giving our patients the kind of care that we would want if we were in their shoes. Dr. Ringler, Dr. Barnhart, and everyone on our dental team will work together to ensure that you can get the high-quality dental care that you deserve.

If you have any questions about dental crowns, we can be reached at our website or by phone at (620) 708-4045.