Proper Preparation for Black Border Correction

The dark, black border that appears at the gumline of a tooth that has a crown is a very common complaint among patients. This visible black line occurs because of a poor design of the crown or poor material selection. Crowns and bridges that cover teeth are commonly fabricated from a metal substructure, which is covered by porcelain to hide the metal. The metal substructure provides strength while the porcelain creates the esthetics. The black border at the gumline is actually the metal substructure exposed at the neck of the tooth. If a dentist does not prepare the tooth properly, with enough space for the metal and porcelain at the border of the tooth, a black line will be visible.

Dental Crowns Bridges All Ceramic Option

Another option is to use an all-ceramic material to fabricate the crown. New all-ceramic materials exhibit excellent strength and do not require the use of a metal substructure. Therefore, metal will not be exposed at the gumline of a tooth.

Bridges for a Beautiful Smile

Recently, a patient presented to the office complaining of the dark, black border with the bridge on her front teeth (see before picture). The bridge is also very opaque with a poor shade match with her natural teeth. The bridge was removed and an all-ceramic material called e.max was used to fabricate a new bridge. Porcelain can be layered over the front of the e.max material to exactly match the shade, shape and surface characteristics of her natural teeth (see after picture). Close attention to details is what allows a bridge to appear like teeth rather than a bridge.

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