Clinical Characteristics of Abutment Teeth with Gingival Discoloration.

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The grey-bluish discoloration of gingiva (known as "amalgam tattoo") does not appear only in the presence of amalgam restorations. It may also be seen in cases of teeth restored with cast dowels and porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) restorations. The aim of this article was to determine the clinical characteristics of abutment teeth with gingival discoloration.


This research was conducted on 25 patients referred for cast dowel and PFM restorations. These restorations were manufactured from Ni-Cr alloys. Ninety days after cementing the fixed prosthodontic restorations, the abutment teeth (n = 61) were divided into a group with gingival discoloration (GD) (n = 25) and without gingival discoloration (NGD) (n = 36). The control group (CG) comprised the contralateral teeth (n = 61). Plaque index, gingival index, clinical attachment level, and probing depth were assessed before fabrication and also 90 days after cementation of the PFM restorations.


The gingival index, clinical attachment level, and probing depths of the abutment teeth that had GD were statistically higher before restoration, in comparison with the abutment teeth in the NGD and control groups. Ninety days after cementation, the abutment teeth with GD had significantly lower gingival indexes and probing depths, compared to the abutment teeth in the NGD group. Both abutment teeth groups (GD and NGD) had significantly higher values of clinical attachment levels when compared to the control group. There were no statistically significant differences in plaque index values between the study groups.


The results of this study indicated that impairment of periodontal status of abutment teeth seemed to be related to the presence of gingival discolorations. Therefore, fabrication of fixed prosthodontic restorations requires careful planning and abutment teeth preparation to minimize the occurrence of gingival discolorations.


With careful preparation of abutment teeth for cast dowels and crown restorations it may be possible to decrease the frequency of gingival discolorations adjacent to abutment teeth.

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