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Dental crowns

Dental crowns are permanent tooth covers that are cemented to chipped, cracked or broken teeth to improve their appearance and function.

I have pain in an area where I have a tooth crown, how can I tell if the procedure was done poorly?

Steven Bader (Newton Centre, MA) on Jan 10, 2012
Great questions. The dark line you see may be a metal crown margin or edge. That is common in porcelain to metal crowns. If the crown is all porcelain, the dark line could be some early stain. Regarding your pain, that needs to be checked to see if the nerve of the tooth shows damage. Generally a tooth only needs a crown when it is already broken. Teeth with large fillings or cracks are already prone to having nerve damage. Sometimes that damage is not apparent until after a crown is placed. None of this indicates that your dentist did a bad job. I hope this helps! Good luck.
Amanda Seay (Mount Pleasant, SC) on Jan 10, 2012
The black line around your crown is most likely the metal core under your porcelain that is exposed. That is often just a material choice and lab technician skills can overcome this. If your tooth has had a root canal and is no longer vital, it can also turn dark over time and thus give you the same "black" line affect. If your pain occurred at the time the crown was done then it most likely is related to common post-procedural inflammation of the nerve. Reversible inflammation usually manifests itself as a slight pain that is stimulated by heat and cold and will go away as soon as the stimulus is removed. Irreversible inflammation will present with spontaneous pain without any stimulus or pain that is stimulated but lingers for some time. This can all occur with any dental procedure, even when done in all the right conditions. If your crown does not fit well then you may get some tooth exposure that causes some sensitivity as well. There are so many reasons you might have pain.
Debra Glassman (New York, NY) on Jan 10, 2012
Sensitivity after a crown was placed is a common occurrence. Sometimes the amount of decay or ongoing trauma can cause sensitivity. And sometimes the sensitivity is transient and will go away in a few weeks. Some studies have shown that up to 10% of crowns require root canal therapy after the crown was placed. The black line could be from the metal underneath the porcelain crown. If it is an aesthetic issue, there are newer all-porcelain crowns that are strong enough for the back teeth. Having said that, a poorly fitting crown with gaps around the tooth can cause pain and staining around the openings. Get a second opinion if you need it.