An Hour and Half for a Crown?

We get lots of new patients of all ages in our office. Many need treatment while others do not. Some need fillings. Some need root canals. And some need crowns.

For those patients needing crowns, we often describe the process, which includes the fact that we sometimes schedule for an hour and a half.

“An hour and a half??

That is the response we sometimes get. Some cannot understand why it would take that long. The irony of this situation is that we are often replacing a poorly done crown that had been done in less than an hour.

A 90 Minute Crown

Let’s look at before and after photos showing a crown that took 90 minutes:

before and after photos showing a single central incisor crown

Before and after photos showing a crown on a single upper central incisor. We think the extra time was worth it. Can you tell it is a crown? Photos and dentistry Dr. Nicholas Calcaterra.

The above photo shows a crown that took 90 minutes. She had two very large fillings in her upper right central incisor that were consistently breaking every 6 months.

Why did it take 90 minutes? Here are some reasons:

  • We had to prepare the tooth very conservatively (which means we went slowly) to prevent her from needing a root canal.
  • We had to create space under the gums for the crown to go. Notice how you can’t detect where the crown meets the tooth!
  • We had to get an ideal shade match.This takes time and expertise! Notice how the shade matches the other teeth perfectly.
  • We had to make a good looking temporary crown.

Needless to say, our patient was very happy with the results. Time well spent!

45 Minute Crowns

We thought we would include photos of crowns that were not visually pleasing.

Ugly dental crowns that took only 45 minutes

We did NOT do these crowns. Both patients recalled being in the chair for less than an hour.

The crowns above are from patients who came to our office seeking treatment. They were unhappy with the appearance of their front teeth. On questioning, they both indicated that they were in the chair for less than an hour. Needless to say, when we treated them, we spent a lot of time getting things right.

Are you unhappy with your smile? Do you have a black line around your crown? Are you unhappy with the shade? We can help. Call us at (203) 799 – 2929 or visit this page to request an appointment.

Why Do I Have a Black Line Around My Crown?

Many times we see patients who ask us this very question:

photo of a black line at the gumline of a dental crown

Black line covered by bonding on this dental crown.

Why is there a black line at the gums with my crown?

As you can see on the photo to the right, there is a dental crown on an upper front tooth. In this case, because of an unsightly black line right where the crown meets the tooth, bonding was placed over it. Unfortunately, that didn’t make things look much better.

A black line at the margin of a dental crown can develop for many different reasons. Those reasons will be discussed in detail later on in this article.

But the most important point is that an ugly black line can be fixed!

Before and After Photos Fixing a Black Line

Don’t believe that you can fix these cases? Thing again! Let’s look at some before and after photos of patients we’ve helped:

Amazing before and after photo of fixing a black line on a dental crown

Before and after photo showing the dramatic fix of a black line around an old crown. With a new all ceramic crown (specifically an e.max crown), his smile was transformed immediately! Photos and dentistry Dr. Nicholas Calcaterra.

This patient of ours from West Haven lived for many years flashing this every time he smiled. He did not believe that it could be fixed. We believe we convinced him otherwise. What do you think?

Fixing it took extreme attention to detail and a new all ceramic crown. Note the shade match – it matches the adjacent teeth so well you can’t even tell it’s a crown!

Why Are There Black Lines?

You can see black lines for several different reasons. These can include:

  • Placement of a porcelain/metal crown in a way so that the underlying metal is visible. This could have been avoided with an all ceramic one.
  • Significant recession of the gum tissue following placement of the crown.
  • Significant darkening of the underlying tooth so that its shadow becomes visible under a very thin layer of porcelain.
  • Leakage and/or staining from an old filling on the tooth under the crown.
  • Caries (a.ka. decay or a cavity) that develops at the margin.
bad black lines on front tooth crowns

Black lines – along with brown colors – visible on these front crowns. We DID NOT do these crowns!

The above photo shows three front teeth. The black and brown originate from several factors – the use of porcelain/metal crowns, recession of the gums, and leakage/staining from old fillings. Ouch!

Black Lines Can be Fixed!

As the before and after photos show, nearly all cases of black lines can be corrected. To do so, your dentist first must understand why it occurred, and then he/she must pay extreme attention to every detail to correct it.

Are you unhappy with your front crowns? Interested in learning to see if we can improve the appearance? Call us at (203) 799 – 2929 or visit this page to request an appointment.