Tag Archives: porcelain fused to metal crowns

Why Is My Veneer Turning Dark at the Top?

I received two porcelain veneers on my front teeth a couple of years ago. I only needed one but ended up getting two. The dentist said that was necessary to make sure my two front teeth match. It worked out, they matched and looked very nice. I’m concerned because one of them has developed a dark line at the very top. Will this happen to both of them? Is there any way to fix it? It’s a little embarrassing.

Stephanie H.

Dear Stephanie,

Porcelain veneers shouldn’t ever develop a line at the top. There are two possible scenarios, but both mean your dentist didn’t do the job correctly. That actually wouldn’t surprise me because he told you he needed to do two veneers in order to get them to match. If he were a skilled cosmetic dentist that wouldn’t be true. He could match a single veneer to the rest of your teeth.

First, the veneers should have been made flush with your natural tooth. If your dentist didn’t do that, it would leave a ledge which can gather all kinds of food and bacteria. That would be a possible explanation of the dark line. It will also lead to decay so he should repair this free of charge.

A second possibility is the dentist didn’t bond the veneer properly. This allows things to slip in between. This would more likely make the entire veneer look darker. Unfortunately, it also will lead to decay and should be repaired free of charge.

I’d get a second opinion from an expert cosmetic dentist, just to get an objective opinion as to what is going on. Don’t be surprised if he tells you what you actually have are two porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns and not porcelain veneers. Those DO develop a dark line at the gumline as a matter of course, but generally it takes more than two years for that to pop it’s ugly head out. If this is the case it’s just another piece of evidence that your dentist isn’t qualified in cosmetics. Front teeth require all-porcelain crowns. The metal based ones are better for back teeth.

This blog is brought to you by Dr. Randall Burba.

Insurance for Crowns

I need to get three crowns. I told my dentist I want an all porcelain crowns. He preferred porcelain with metal bases, but said he’d be willing to do an Empress crown.  My insurance says it will pay $350/crown.– for the crowns, but my dentist said it will be over $1000.– per crown. Is this correct?!

Dana S.- Austin, TX


Yes, your dentist is giving you a reasonable price quote. In fact, $1000.00 per crown is on the low end of a crown fee.  Dental insurance does not work like medical insurance. Generally, with medical insurance, the higher the cost of the procedure, the more the insurance is helpful to you. With dental insurance it is different. They are in business to make money. The more the procedure costs, the more you’ll have to pay.

I would like to address one other thing. You mentioned you told your dentist you would like all-porcelain crowns, but he preferred the porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. While you have a right to have the type of crown you prefer, it may be wiser for you to go to another dentist  for the procedure. You’re taking a huge chance pushing your dentist into a procedure he is not comfortable doing. All-porcelain crowns require very sophisticated bonding techniques that if not done properly will cause you a lot of problems.

It doesn’t mean you cannot go to your dentist for other procedures that he is qualified to do. But, you need to go somewhere else for the crowns  you want.

This blog is brought to you by Boston Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Randall Burba.