Do all crowns turn black?

Answered by Phillip Nicastro

Well, from my personal experience working in dentistry, I can say that not all dental crowns turn black. In fact, it’s quite rare for a crown to darken on its own. There are usually underlying reasons for discoloration, and it’s important to identify the cause in order to address it properly.

One common cause of discoloration in dental crowns is the presence of bacteria. If bacteria manage to seep into the crown, it can lead to staining and discoloration over time. This can happen if there is a small opening or gap between the crown and the tooth, allowing bacteria to accumulate. It’s important to maintain good oral hygiene and regularly visit the dentist to prevent bacterial buildup and potential discoloration.

Another reason for crown discoloration is an inadequate seal on the crown. If the seal between the crown and the tooth is not properly formed or if it deteriorates over time, bacteria and debris can enter, causing discoloration. This is why it’s crucial to have a well-fitting crown and to ensure proper maintenance and regular check-ups with your dentist.

Occasionally, a darkened crown may be an indication of a cavity underneath. If a cavity develops beneath a crown, it can cause the tooth to darken and potentially lead to further damage if left untreated. Regular dental check-ups and X-rays can help detect any cavities or issues beneath the crown.

Now, it’s worth noting that the material used for the crown can also play a role in its potential to darken. Certain materials, such as metal-based crowns, may be more prone to discoloration over time. However, modern dental materials and techniques have greatly improved, and many crowns are now made from materials that are highly resistant to staining and discoloration.

While it is not common for dental crowns to turn black on their own, discoloration can occur due to factors such as bacterial infiltration, inadequate sealing, or underlying cavities. Regular dental check-ups, proper oral hygiene, and maintaining a well-fitting crown can help prevent or address any discoloration issues.