All of us know that one relative who has a smile that has a grey line underneath some teeth. If you have been too polite to ask why that is where it is, it is caused by dental crowns. The internal structure of dental crowns, which is none other than a kind of surgical steel, makes the gums recede from the dental crown. This gives a shadow underneath the crown as the gums will be missing on a small portion of space beneath the teeth. The other reason for the discoloration is that the steel internal structure leaks some harmless, but unsightly trace elements, mostly metals, and these tend to stain the gums.
Gum discoloration caused by dental crown is NOT inevitable!
We are very pleased to tell you that this kind of discoloration is luckily not inevitable, and does not need to be endured for a lifetime, but it is a very common side effect. All dental crowns have the same external structure, which is none other than tooth coloured porcelain. The internal structures can be quite different, though. Only dental crowns with a metal internal structure cause the discoloration that presents itself as a grey line. But not all dental crowns have this kind of internal structure!
Zirconium dental crowns
Zirconium is a mineral that is oxidised to make a hard material that is used to make a number of things, among them the internal structure of high end aesthetic crowns that are a bit more expensive than regular dental crowns, but are used to replace front teeth because of their anatomical likeness to real, living teeth. Not only do they look like real teeth, but are semi translucent in the same way that real teeth are, and play with the light in the same manner. They also have the added bonus of not being made of metal, and are totally hypoallergenic, so no grey line and no gum recession with these ones. The only consideration is the price.
For price sensitive patients, we recommend getting the front six, the so-called “smile zone” done with zirconium dental crowns in order to avoid the unsightly grey line. The back teeth can be replaced with regular dental crowns, because although they can be unsightly, there is absolutely no ill health effects with having this grey line.