Q. I just had two implants placed last month, replacing teeth that have been missing for a few years. The gums surrounding the implants are turning a gray color that’s very noticeable when I smile. I went to a dentist that was several thousand dollars less expensive than others. Maybe that was a mistake?
A. I understand your concern, but your situation is not uncommon. The dark color of your gums is likely the collar of the dental implants showing through your gum tissue. This can happen especially if your gum tissue is too thin. When the gum tissue is too thin at the sight at implant placement, along with the implant not being placed at exactly the right depth, a grayish color (which is titanium, the material that makes up the implant) can be visible at the gum line. This can also lead to gum recession in that area over time. One option to remedy this would be to do a soft tissue graft to thicken the surrounding gum tissue. Or perhaps your surgeon can switch out the head of the implant from titanium to Zirconia; a tooth colored material that would eliminate the gray color (if you have not had your permanent crown placed yet). Definitely check back with your dentist to examine the area, make sure there is no bone loss, etc., and from there discuss your cosmetic options.
It’s possible that your dentist has cut corners. These problems can be dealt with ahead of time, so you’re not having the situation you’re in.
This blog is brought to you by Seattle Cosmetic Dentist Dr. Brian McKay.