How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
A dental crown is a common dental procedure used to save a tooth. In many cases a crown can save and restore a tooth with extensive decay or damage. A crown can also be used for cosmetic purposes, to fix a tooth that is chipped or stained so that it looks more natural, recreating a beautiful smile.
If your dentist has recommended a crown for one or more of your teeth, you may have some questions about it. How long does a dental crown last? What does the procedure entail? Here’s what you need to know about dental crowns before getting one.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cover or shell that is placed over a tooth with severe damage or decay. When there is no longer enough of the natural tooth material left for a filling to be effective, a crown should be used to restore the tooth. A crown allows the natural root of the tooth to remain in place, saving the tooth.
Benefits of Dental Crowns
Dental crowns offer many benefits:
- Save the tooth. In many cases, a crown can save a tooth from needing to be extracted.
- Keep the roots intact. A crown allows the natural root of the tooth to stay in place in your jaw to support the tooth.
- Prevent bone loss. The presence of the natural root prevents the jaw bone from weakening and deteriorating.
- More affordable than replacing the tooth. Getting a crown typically costs less than most tooth replacement options.
Average Lifespan of a Dental Crown
The average lifespan of a dental crown is about 10-15 years but it can last a lifetime. How long your crown may last will depend on a variety of factors.
What Can Help a Crown Last a Lifetime?
You can get the most years out of your crown when the following criteria are met:
- Good oral hygiene. If you take good care of your teeth by brushing and flossing twice a day you can help your crown and the tooth under it last longer. The number one reason crowns fail is due to a cavity starting in the tooth structure underneath the crown. Brushing and flossing remove the bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease. The more often that you do it, the longer the crown and your teeth will last.
- Regular dental care. Going to the dentist for regular teeth cleanings and oral exams can help ensure that your teeth are healthy and that your crown is fitting properly and in good condition plus the addition of a fluoride varnish which prevents a cavity and can stop decay that is starting. An ill-fitting crown can become loose and potentially damage the tooth under it or become damaged itself.
- Quality material. The material that crowns are made of, will affect how long they last. Porcelain is very strong and looks the most natural. Zirconia is even stronger and is natural looking. Porcelain fused to metal is also strong, but the metal is sometimes visible. A gold or gold alloy crown is the strongest option, because gold prevents bacteria from creating a cavity, but does not provide a natural look. If the tooth is near the back of your mouth and not highly visible, a metal crown may be your best option for longevity.
What May Shorten the Life of Your Crown?
The following may contribute to a shorter lifespan for your crown:
- Low quality. A crown made of low quality material or poor fit will not last as long.
- Poor dental care. If you don’t take care of your teeth and go to your regular dental appointments, your crown will not last as long.
- Teeth grinding. Grinding your teeth can cause damage to your crown and also the tooth underneath it. If you know you grind your teeth, wear a mouthguard at night. Full arch mouth guards protect your teeth but for most people cause more clenching and grinding.
- Chewing or biting non-food items. If you tend to chew on pens and pencils or open things with your teeth, you are putting your crown at risk of damage.
Why Choose Fine Dental Care?
When it comes to getting a dental crown, Fine Dental Care provides crowns made of the highest quality materials that are made to last. We carefully place your dental crown for the best possible fit so that it stays in place and protects your tooth for many years to come. Hopefully, a lifetime. Our goal is for you to have healthy teeth with few if any problems in the future!