I ended up getting a porcelain veneer done to fix my damaged front tooth. At first, I really liked it. It blended in perfectly with my surrounding teeth. No one seemed to notice I had any work done. I am wondering what’s wrong with it now? It has only been a couple years and I’m noticing a really dark line along my gums. Should I be concerned? I am starting to feel self conscious when I’m laughing and smiling. Do you know what happened?
-Pam in Missouri
From what you have described, it actually doesn’t sound like you have a porcelain veneer. It is more likely that you have a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. A porcelain veneer is a very thin layer of porcelain that is bonded to the front of a tooth. Typically, a porcelain veneers are used to improve the aesthetics of teeth. For example, minor gaps, discoloration and small chips can be addressed with porcelain veneers. But, a dental crown is used when a tooth is more severely damaged. For example, if a tooth is cracked or chipped, has too large of a cavity to fill or needs to be reinforced structurally, a crown is more effective. A porcelain crown covers the entire tooth, kind of like a cap.
When the framework is made of metal, the gums can recede over time and the metal is visible. That said, a couple years seems like a short time for the metal to be exposed. It is possible you may need to be checked out to rule out any other conditions, like gum disease. That way, the cause can be taken care of before the crown is redone.
Now, this is all based on assumption from what you have explained. It is possible that you did get a porcelain veneer. If so, it doesn’t sound like it was done properly. Or, the cosmetic dentistry may have been done by a dentist that didn’t have the proper expertise and training.
There have been cases where bacteria creeps into the gumline area with porcelain veneers that were not placed seamlessly. If this is indeed the case, you will need to have be seen for a professional exam and cleaning. If bacteria is gathering along the gums, decay will become an issue if it hasn’t already and the bond that holds the veneer in place may be compromised.
Thank you for your question. Hopefully this will give you some guidance as to what your next steps should be.