Cap My Front Tooth? Never
“I would never allow the dentist to put a cap (crown) on my front tooth. Never!”
This sentiment has been echoed by many of our adult patients over the years. Why does this generation have such a strong aversion to a “cap” or “crown” on the front teeth?
The biggest concern of patients receiving that type of crown was the “black line” up at the gum line.
That ugly black line
It all goes back to an era during which dentistry did its best to save a badly damaged front tooth with a cap from “yesteryear.” Most often they were excellent functional replacements which allowed patients the opportunity to keep a front tooth for many decades, if not a lifetime.
Function with aesthetics
The problem with yesteryears types of crowns is that although they were indeed beautifully crafted (from a clinically functional standpoint), they often had aesthetic drawbacks, including the “black line” at the gum line.
What caused that ugly black line, and what can be done about it today? The technical cause for that non-aesthetic result was a thin band of gold (or other metal) at the very edge of the crown where it met the gum line. Even if a dentist attempted to place that edge far enough up under the gum line to hide it, the thin and semi-transparent nature of the edge of gum was no match for the darkness and opacity of the metal understructure of the crown. The gums may also be constantly irritated as a result of the crown being tucked underneath the gumline.
Fortunately, we have many advanced techniques, which allow placement of undetectable crowns on front teeth.
How do they do that?
The answer to, “How do they do that?” lies in the space-age technology of modern dental materials, combined with the advanced techniques used to place a crown.
Included in these advanced techniques are all-porcelain crowns (requiring no metal substructure at all); porcelain-edged crowns (where the portion near the gum line requires no metal substructure); and other preparation (the way we reshape the badly damaged tooth) techniques.
Any of these (or combinations) give us the ability to place crowns which literally disappear. They blend in as if they were your natural teeth.
Can anything be done for my mom?
Not only are current advanced techniques for natural-appearing front crowns a breakthrough for those needing crowns today, but we are often able to repair the aesthetic damage done in the past.
If you or a family member had a crown applied that clearly shows the “black line” at the gum line, contact your dentist about replacing the old crown with the newer styles to recapture your naturally beautiful smile.