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How Long Does Dental Crowns Last

December 6, 2023

Research proves that most people are unhappy with the appearance of their teeth. This is where cosmetic and restorative dental procedures come in. One of the most common cosmetic restorative procedures at Amores Dental is dental crowns.

Dental crowns are used to restore and protect teeth that are affected by significant decay, fractures, and other cosmetic imperfections. They may also be used with a dental implant to replace missing teeth. While these restorations are designed to be durable and long-lasting, there are several factors that can impact their longevity.

In this article, we’ll explain more about dental crowns and how long do dental crowns last. After all, understanding these factors is critical for patients who are looking for an effective, long-term solution.

Dental Crown

What are Dental Crowns?

Dental crowns, also referred to as “caps”, are tooth-shaped prosthetics that are placed over a damaged/decayed tooth to restore the size, shape, strength, and function. They are most often used for teeth that have undergone root canal treatment, have significant structural damage, or require a large dental filling.

What are dental crowns made of?

The most common materials used for dental crowns include porcelain, metal, composite resin, or a combination. The choice of material depends on the preferences of the patient and/or the dentist, the location of the tooth, and other factors.

How long do dental crowns last?

The most common questions that dentists are asked when it comes to dental crowns is: “how long do dental crowns last?” Research shows that, on average, the lifespan of a dental crown ranges from around 10 years to 30 years or more.

What Factors Impact the Lifespan of a Dental Crown?

There are several factors that can impact the lifespan of your crown, including:

Material

The material has a significant impact on the lifespan of a dental crown.

For example, metal crowns are durable and long-lasting. Unfortunately, they are not the most aesthetically-pleasing due to their metallic appearance. On the other hand, porcelain/ceramic or composite resin are more aesthetically-pleasing but are more susceptible to damage or breakage.

Oral Hygiene Practices

Proper oral hygiene practices is critical for the maintenance of dental crowns. Regular brushing, flossing, and professional cleaning can prevent the buildup of plaque and tartar, which reduces the risk of tooth decay in the natural tooth under the crown. Typically, patients with good oral hygiene habits can expect a longer life expectancy for their crowns.

Bruxism

Individuals who grind or clench their teeth, a condition known as bruxism, may experience premature wear and damage to dental crowns. The forces generated during teeth grinding can compromise the integrity of the crown over time. Dentists may recommend the use of night guards to protect the crowns in such cases.

Location of the Tooth

The location of the affected tooth can have an impact on the life expectancy of the dental crown. Molars typically endure greater chewing forces, which means crowns on those teeth experience more stress than those on the incisors or canines.

Dietary Habits

Certain dietary habits, such as consuming hard or sticky foods, can contribute to the wear and tear of dental crowns. Patients are often advised to avoid excessive consumption of foods that can place undue stress on the crowns, potentially leading to fractures or dislodgment.

Common Signs of Dental Crown Issues

While dental crowns are designed to last for many years, the above factors can impact this life expectancy. If you have issues with your crown, you may need to consider having it replaced. Below are a few of the most common signs of dental crown issues:

Pain or Sensitivity

Discomfort or heightened sensitivity in the tooth covered by the crown may indicate underlying issues such as decay or a compromised crown. Regular dental check-ups are essential to identify and address such problems early on.

Visible Damage

Any visible damage to the crown, such as cracks, chips, or fractures, should be promptly addressed. Even minor damage can compromise the structural integrity of the crown and may lead to more severe issues if left untreated.

Loose Crown

A loose or dislodged crown requires immediate attention. It may be a sign of inadequate bonding or decay beneath the crown. Seeking prompt dental care can prevent further complications.

Can You Increase the Life Expectancy of a Dental Crown?

While dental crowns are designed to last for up to 30 years, they are not designed to last a lifetime. However, there are a few things you can do to extend the life expectancy of your crown, including:

Proper Oral Hygiene

Ideally, you should be brushing at least twice daily and flossing at least once. When you brush, you should be using a soft-bristled toothbrush and non-abrasive toothpaste. When flossing, consider using a water flosser to avoid potentially damaging the crown.

Additionally, the American Dental Association recommends professional dental check-ups and cleanings every 6 months. These check-ups allow the dentist to monitor the crown as well as your overall oral health and address concerns before they escalate.

Appropriate Material

When choosing your crown, consider the location of the affected tooth as well as your lifestyle habits, functional requirements, and aesthetic preferences. This can help you determine the best material for your crown.

Excessive Force and Trauma

If you play contact sports or tend to grind/clench your teeth, discuss the option of getting a mouthguard or nightguard to prevent damage to your teeth. Additionally, be cautious when eating hard/sticky foods to avoid potential dislodgement or damage.

Healthy Diet

A balanced, nutritious diet supports your oral and overall health. Limit sugary/acidic foods, as these can cause or contribute to tooth decay. Nutrient-rich foods, on the other hand, support the strength of natural teeth as well as the longevity of your crown.

Address Issues Early

If you notice any of the above signs of issues, address them early. They will not resolve on their own.

Quit Smoking/Tobacco Use

Smoking and tobacco use can contribute to a variety of oral health issues including gum disease- which can lead to dental crown issues.

Follow Post-Op Instructions

If your crown is part of a restorative treatment such as root canal therapy, carefully follow the post-op instructions from your dentist.

Do You Want To Restore Your Smile with a Dental Crown?

Dental crowns are a cosmetic restorative procedure designed to restore the appearance and functionality of a severely damaged/decayed tooth. In some cases, a dental crown is used with a dental implant to replace missing teeth.

Typically, dental crowns last for up to 30 years, but this life expectancy may be shorter or longer based on several factors. Dr. Dennis Amores and the team at Amores Dental in Dadeland and Palmetto Bay can help you with your dental crown needs. We also offer a variety of other dental services for your entire family.

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