When it comes to dental restorations, crowns are often used to protect and strengthen damaged or weakened teeth.
Crowns are typically made of materials like ceramic, porcelain, or metal, and while they all serve the same purpose, not all crowns are created equal in terms of durability and longevity.
What are dental crowns?
You can think of a dental crown as a fake tooth that is made to last your whole life. You can use it to cover a tooth that has been treated for tooth decay or to hold a bridge in place so that it can fill the space between your teeth.
It is made to fit over a tooth that is already there. Dental crowns not only protect and strengthen weak teeth, but they also hold up large fillings.
A dental crown is needed to fix a tooth that has been damaged. It helps keep the tooth in its normal shape, size, and way of working.
When your dentist tells you that you need a dental crown to save a tooth, you must get the treatment as soon as possible so that the tooth’s health can be recovered before it gets any worse.
It’s normal to worry about how long a dental crown will last, since its life depends a lot on how well it holds up in your mouth.
This is one reason why it makes sense to worry about how long a dental crown will last. How long a crown is supposed to last varies a lot from one person to the next.
How long do dental crowns last?
On average, a dental crown will last anywhere from five to fifteen years. On the other hand, the amount of “wear and tear” that a crown goes through directly affects how long it lasts.
Your personal oral hygiene practices and habits, like grinding or clenching your teeth, eating ice, biting your fingernails, or using your teeth as a tool (like to cut a thread or open a package), can hurt the health of your mouth and teeth.
What factors affect the lifespan of a dental crown?
The lifespan of a dental crown depends on several factors, including the patient’s oral hygiene, diet, and lifestyle habits. Below are some of the factors that affect the lifespan of a dental crown.
1. Oral hygiene
Good oral hygiene practices, such as regular brushing and flossing, are essential for maintaining the longevity of a dental crown.
If a patient does not take care of their teeth and gums properly, it can lead to the development of dental decay and gum disease, which can cause the crown to become loose or fall off.
It is recommended that patients brush their teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day to prevent the accumulation of plaque and tartar.
Diet also plays an important role in the lifespan of a dental crown. Patients should avoid hard, crunchy, or sticky foods that can damage or dislodge the crown.
These include foods such as ice, hard candy, popcorn, and chewing gum. Patients should also avoid biting down on hard objects, such as pens or pencils, as this can damage the crown.
3. Lifestyle habits
Lifestyle habits, such as smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, can also affect the lifespan of a dental crown.
Smoking can stain and weaken the crown, while excessive alcohol consumption can lead to the erosion of the crown’s material.
Patients should also avoid grinding or clenching their teeth, as this can cause the crown to crack or break.
The material of the crown can also affect its lifespan. For example, porcelain or ceramic crowns are more fragile than metal crowns and are more susceptible to cracking or chipping.
Gold and metal alloy crowns are more durable and less likely to break or wear down. However, the choice of material also depends on the patient’s aesthetic preferences, budget, and oral health needs.
The fit of the crown is also an important factor in its lifespan. If the crown is not properly fitted, it can cause discomfort, gum inflammation, and bacterial accumulation, which can lead to the deterioration of the tooth’s structure and the crown’s material.
The dentist must ensure that the crown fits snugly and comfortably on the tooth and that the bite is properly aligned.
Types of dental crowns and their longevity
The strength and durability of the material used to make the crown are the most important factors in determining how long it will last.
Other things, like the location of the tooth, how much of the natural tooth can be saved, and how well you take care of your teeth, are also important.
Porcelain Fused to Metal (PFM) Crowns
PFM is a popular choice for crowns and also one of the options that looks the most like real teeth.
Crowns made of porcelain fused to metal are the most popular and look the most natural. It seems likely that fixes made with a metal back will last between 5 and 15 years.
Lithium DiSilicate Crowns
This is a solid glass-ceramic material that your dentist can use with special tools to make crowns right there in the office. This means that you will only need to go to the dentist once to have the crown put on.
Lithium disilicate is also very strong and can be changed to get the amount of transparency that is needed.
If you take good care of these crowns, they can also last anywhere from 5 to 15 years or even longer.
Gold has been the most popular material for dental crowns for more than a century. It is still considered the “gold standard,” and 95% of gold crowns last at least 10 years.
Because it lasts so long, gold is the best material for tooth crowns. Dentists often think about using gold for fillings in the molars, which are the back teeth you can’t see when you smile.
Gold is often combined with other metals in modern dentistry. For example, palladium, chromium, and nickel are often used together with gold. This keeps the crown strong and keeps the cost of keeping it up to a minimum.
Crowns vs. Veneers
Both veneers and crowns are types of dental surgery that can make your teeth look better and make them work better.
A veneer is often suggested as a way to improve the look of your teeth. But a veneer and a crown cover different amounts of the tooth.
A veneer only covers the front of your tooth. A dental crown, on the other hand, covers the whole tooth.
The thickness of a veneer is about 1 millimeter, while the thickness of a crown is about 2 millimeters. The thickness is another difference. A veneer is thicker than a crown.
A veneer’s lifespan is about the same as that of a crown, based on the materials used and how well you take care of your teeth. But because the coating on veneers is thinner than on other types of floors, they might not last as long.
Crowns are usually made of ceramic or another material that is clear or see-through. Veneers, on the other hand, can be made of materials like metal.
Crowns need the tooth to be worked on more than veneers do. Unlike crowns, their preparation lets more of your original tooth structure stay in place.
Because veneers are glued to the original tooth with special cement that is hardened with an ultraviolet lamp during the process, the tooth doesn’t have to be moved or taken out much for them to be put on.
Most of the time, crowns are cheaper than veneers. Because of this, they are usually used for cosmetic purposes and to make small changes to the shape.
Because veneers are considered a type of cosmetic dentistry, most dental insurance plans won’t pay for them.
Porcelain veneers, on the other hand, cost more than composite veneers, but they are known to last longer.
How to know when your crown needs to be replaced?
The only way to know if a crown needs to be changed is through a physical exam or a dental X-ray.
Your doctor is the best person to ask if your teeth are still getting worse. It’s possible that the top isn’t in the right place or that the edges aren’t closed.
Another option is that there is a space between the crown and the tooth, which would mean that the crown needs to be replaced.
You should also think about getting a new crown if the one you have is broken or if there is a space between the crown and the teeth next to it that lets food and germs build up.
Warning signs that your dental crown may be nearing the end of its lifespan
While dental crowns are designed to last for many years, they are not invincible and will eventually need to be replaced.
Knowing the warning signs that your dental crown may be nearing the end of its lifespan can help you avoid further dental problems and prevent unnecessary discomfort.
1. Cracks or Chips
Dental crowns are designed to be durable and withstand normal biting and chewing forces. However, over time, the crown may develop small cracks or chips that can weaken the structure.
If you notice any visible damage to your crown, it’s important to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.
Cracks or chips can lead to further damage to your tooth or even cause the crown to break off completely.
If you notice that your dental crown is starting to change color, it may be a sign that the crown is deteriorating.
Discoloration can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor oral hygiene, smoking, or even certain foods and beverages.
If you notice any discoloration, it’s important to speak with your dentist to determine the cause and whether the crown needs to be replaced.
3. Sensitivity or Pain
If you experience sensitivity or pain around your dental crown, it may be a sign that the crown is no longer properly fitting or has become damaged.
This can occur if the crown has shifted or if there is tooth decay underneath the crown. In some cases, the pain may be mild and go away on its own, but if it persists or becomes more severe, it’s important to see your dentist.
4. Loose Crown
If your dental crown feels loose or wobbly, it’s important to see your dentist right away. A loose crown can be caused by a variety of factors, including a weakened or damaged tooth underneath the crown or a loose cement seal.
If left untreated, a loose crown can lead to further damage to your tooth or even cause the crown to fall off completely.
5. Recurring Decay
If you’ve had a dental crown for several years and notice that you’re experiencing recurring decay or gum disease around the crown, it may be a sign that the crown is no longer properly fitting or is deteriorating.
Recurring decay can occur if the crown has shifted; leaving gaps between the crown and your tooth or if there is decay underneath the crown.
When it is put on right, a crown will give the tooth below it strength, stability, and safety. A dental crown is a long-lasting way to fix a tooth.
However, if it is not done in the most skilled and professional way, it may only last for many years without any problems, even though it is durable.
Besides the price, there are a number of other things to think about. So, it is better to spend more money to make sure the crown is good quality and will last a long time.
In the long run, using cheaper methods and treatments that aren’t as good would lead to higher costs, longer treatment times, and more tooth pain.
The way the crown fits is a big part of how long it will last. If a crown doesn’t fit right, it could make bacteria grow, which can cause tooth disease over time.
Your gums and the bone structure that supports them should be checked out by a dentist. Your dentist will be able to tell if the tissue is healthy and gum recession will be less likely to happen.
You should talk to your dentist about the dental crown cost, how long the crown will last, and the pros and cons of the different types of materials that are used to make crowns. It will help you figure out what kind of crown will work best for your needs.