A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance. Dental crowns are used to protect weak teeth, restore broken or worn-down teeth, cover misshapen or discolored teeth, cover dental implants, and hold dental bridges in place. A crown is a great option for people wanting to restore their teeth to their natural state to avoid long-term dental problems. But one question that often arises when considering this procedure is: How long do dental crowns on teeth usually last?
Understanding the Lifespan of Dental Crowns
The lifespan of a dental crown depends on several factors, such as the type of material used for the crown, the location of the crowned tooth in your mouth, and your oral hygiene habits. On average, dental crowns can last between 5 to 15 years. However, with excellent care and maintenance, some crowns can even last up to 25 years or more.
Think about your dental crown like a car. When you put time, money, and effort into it, it has a better chance of running longer and more successfully. Dental crowns require good oral care, like healthy eating habits, daily brushing and flossing, and avoiding the consumption of tobacco products.
Here are some of the top ways you can determine the approximate lifespan of your crown.
Material Matters: Different Types of Dental Crowns
The durability of a dental crown largely depends on the type of material used. There are two main types of materials used for dental crowns: durable ceramic called zirconia and EMAX crowns, which are made out of very esthetic porcelain for anterior teeth and cosmetic situations.
In the past, crowns were made out of a variety of materials such as PFM or metal. PFM and all-porcelain or all-ceramic crowns were popular choices as they match the color of natural teeth closely. However, they may wear down over time due to chewing and biting forces. On average, these types of crowns last between 5 to 15 years.
Fortunately, as science and technology improve, so do the materials available to us. In most cases, zirconia is the most desirable substance to use for a dental crown. It is much stronger than traditional PFM crowns and provides incredible strength and durability along with aesthetics.
EMAX crowns are also popular and are most often used for anterior teeth or cosmetic situations. At our office, we want to find the best solution for your smile; that’s why we provide multiple options. Our dental staff can help you determine which crown is best for your situation.
Location & Oral Habits: Factors Influencing Crown Longevity
The location of your crowned tooth plays a significant role in determining how long your crown will last. Teeth at the back of your mouth, like molars, bear more pressure from chewing, which can cause more wear on your crown over time. Crowns in the front of your mouth aren’t used for chewing or putting the same type of force as posterior teeth. Therefore, they typically tend to last slightly longer.
Your oral habits also significantly impact the longevity of your dental crown. Habits like grinding or clenching your teeth (bruxism), biting fingernails, and chewing ice or hard foods can damage your crown, reducing its lifespan.
Dentists recommend that patients who grind their teeth protect them with a custom night guard. A night guard helps protect your natural teeth and crowns from being worn down and requiring more frequent care or re-making.
Oral Hygiene: The Key to Crown Durability
Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for prolonging the life span of a dental crown. Regular brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once daily helps prevent plaque build-up around the crowned tooth, which can lead to gum disease or decay in the remaining natural tooth structure.
Without proper brushing frequency (and technique), your teeth are more at risk for developing recurrent decay. A crown helps protect the top part of your tooth, but you are still susceptible to dental decay on the root surface or at the margin of the tooth and crown. Therefore, you need to treat your crown just like your natural tooth by brushing well and avoiding plaque build-up. If a dental crown develops tooth decay subgingivally or periodontal disease, you are at risk of losing your dental crown and tooth.
Regular check-ups with your dentist are also essential as they can monitor the condition of your crowned tooth, ensuring any issues are detected early before they become serious problems that could compromise your crown. This includes taking x-rays, getting a professional cleaning, and dental check-ups so that your crown can be checked that it is in top shape.
How Do I Know If I Need A New Crown?
While a well-made dental crown should last hopefully over a decade, you should be going to your dentist to get checked every six months. A dental crown needs replacement if it is loose if the crown is cracked, or if there is a recession of the gums that can lead to periodontal problems.
If your crown is old, it is very common for them to have natural wear and tear. Depends on the damage or wear of the crown that determines if it can be repaired or require replacement.
How Do I Extend The Lifespan Of A Crown?
– Remember to eat a healthy diet and avoid cavity-causing foods frequently, like sugar and processed chewy foods.
– Maintain a solid oral hygiene routine that includes brushing twice daily, flossing, and visiting your dentist every six months for routine cleaning.
– Avoid smoking as it leads to gum and overall health problems.
– Request an evaluation for a mouthguard if you think you grind or clench your teeth.
– Discuss with your dentist a dental crown that is meant to have a long lifespan.
While dental crowns are designed to be durable and long-lasting restorative solutions for damaged teeth, their longevity largely depends on several factors, including the material type used for making them, location within the mouth, personal oral habits, and most importantly – maintaining good oral hygiene practices.
Remember that while a well-maintained crown can last many years, providing you with comfort and confidence in your smile – it’s not invincible! Regular check-ups with your dentist will ensure that any potential problems are caught early so you can continue enjoying the benefits offered by this valuable restorative dentistry treatment option. Contact us at Caldwell, Bills, Petrilli & West with any questions. We’re here to help!