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how long do crowns on teeth last sydney

How Long Do Crowns On Teeth Last? Discover The Determining Factors

Dental crowns are a restorative option for a damaged tooth. Dentists use dental crowns to repair cracked, decayed and weakened teeth. They increase the damaged tooth’s stability and function, restore the natural tooth appearance, and act as a prosthesis in dental implant procedures.

If you’re considering getting a dental crown, you might wonder how long crowns last on teeth. The average lifespan of a crown is 5 to 15 years, though this can differ based on numerous variables. Continue reading to learn more about what affects the lifespan of your dental crowns and how you can keep them healthy for an extended period.

What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is an artificial tooth-coloured cap that a dentist fits over a damaged tooth. Your dentist may prescribe a crown if too much of your natural tooth is broken or missing. They may also recommend a crown if a cavity is too large for a filling.

Traditional dental crowns are made by taking an impression of your tooth and then sending the impression to a lab. The lab fabricates your custom dental crown from porcelain, composite resin, metal or ceramic from the impression and then sends it back to your dentist. You then revisit your dentist to have your temporary dental crown removed and your customised one applied to repair your smile.

In addition to traditional dental crowns, No Gaps Dental uses computer-assisted technology to create CEREC crowns, allowing you to restore your smile in 90 minutes. CEREC crowns are made of a single block of tooth-coloured ceramic, making them stronger and longer-lasting than porcelain and more aesthetically pleasing than metal crowns.

How Long Does a Tooth Crown Last: Material Considerations

Dental crowns come in various materials, from ceramic to metal alloys and composite resins. Each material has benefits that make it the best choice for specific circumstances.

factors teeth crowns last sydneyConsult your dentist to determine which dental crown material is best for your oral needs.

At No Gaps Dental, we offer same-day ceramic dental crowns to give you a natural, long-lasting, healthy smile.

How long a tooth crown does last is determined by its material and how you care for it. Some materials are more durable than others and have long average lifetimes. Post-procedure habits, like daily flossing, help keep a dental crown healthy.

  • Metal alloy crowns

Metal alloys are the strongest dental crown material available. They last more than a decade 96% of the time and over two decades 87% of the time. Metal alloys are also highly biocompatible, reducing the chance of an adverse allergic reaction.

A metal alloy dental crown is an excellent choice for your premolars and molars because it can withstand intense bite force.

The problem with metal alloys is their look and price. Metal alloys do not match your natural tooth colour, resulting in noticeable discolouration in your mouth. They are also costly because metal alloys use precious metals like gold, which are increasingly more expensive than materials like porcelain. For these reasons, dentists and patients rarely choose metal alloys.

  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns

A variation of metal crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns combine the strength of metal alloys with the visual appeal of porcelain. The crown’s interior is metal, and the outside is a thin layer of porcelain that matches your tooth colour.

Since they still consist primarily of metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns are as strong as full-metal crowns. So, how long do porcelain crowns last? PFM crowns have a 96% survival rate at 10 years on average and an 85% rate at 15.

  • Same-day ceramic crowns

Most dental crown materials are used in laboratories and formed into customised dental crowns requiring multiple visits to the dentist. Same-day ceramic crowns made with CEREC technology mean you get your dental crown in a single appointment rather than weeks. CEREC technology uses computer-assisted design and manufacturing to produce a personalised ceramic crown.

While metal crowns are better for molars, CEREC crowns are ideal for your front six smile teeth because of their natural appearance. The majority of ceramic crowns use metal oxide-infused ceramic. This ceramic variation lasts five years long 98% of the time, ten years long 94% of the time, and has unique features that resist failure.

Yttria-stabilised zirconia, a metal oxide commonly used in ceramic crowns, can expand when cracks form. The expansion closes the crack and protects against further damage. Ceramic’s lifespan, esthetics, and same-day creation make them a favourite for patients and dentists.

  • Composite resin crowns

Composite resin dental crowns are made of a plastic-like material that closely matches your natural tooth colour. They are cost-effective but are the weakest of the material options. Composite resin crowns last three years in an average of 90% of cases, five years long 86% of the time, and eight years in only 59% of patients.

With technological advancements, like nanotechnology, the average lifetime of composite resin is likely to improve. Their visual appearance and low cost make them popular for cosmetic procedures.

How Long Do Crowns Last? Other Factors to Consider

  • Location of the crown

The position of your tooth can play a role in how long crowns last. How long do crowns last on molars? Or how long do crowns last on front teeth? The premolars and molars at the back of the dental arch experience a lot of pressure and, as a result, generally don’t last as long as teeth in the front part of the mouth.

  • Partial or full crown

A partial crown (onlay or inlay) is typically required when a tooth restoration needs to be larger than a filling but smaller than a full dental crown.

A full crown covers a whole tooth, while a partial dental crown only covers part of the tooth. We typically use full crowns for teeth that are severely damaged or decayed.

  • Teeth grinding

Did you know that teeth grinding (bruxism) can cause crowns to fail? Bruxism is a condition in which you clench or grind your teeth. Excessive teeth grinding can lead to cracks, chips and other damage to dental crowns over an extended period.

  • Health of the treated tooth

If healthy gums and bone surround the affected tooth, your natural tooth and dental crown will last longer. If you suffer from advanced gum disease, you will need treatment, including antibiotics, scaling and root planing, to address the issue before placing the dental crown.

How Long Do Crowns Last on Teeth? Post Procedure Care

You must consider post-procedure care when answering the question, “How long do crowns last on teeth?” Protect your dental crown with good oral hygiene habits, a mouthguard, and quick action if damage occurs.

  • Oral hygiene habits

Neglecting your oral hygiene can accelerate wear and tear on your dental crowns and may lead to more serious dental conditions like periodontitis (gum disease).

tooth crown longevity sydneyReoccurring cavities are one of the main threats to long-lasting dental crowns. The underlying tooth can get cavities threatening the crown’s structural integrity, especially if the decay reaches the root.

Brushing twice daily with fluoride toothpaste and flossing once per day will reduce the likelihood of decay occurring. Flossing too hard or using a snapping motion may dislodge dental crowns. To avoid this, gently move the floss back and forth around the crowns.

  • Regular dental visits

It is also essential to visit your dentists semi-annually for cleanings and scalings. Routine dental visits help keep your teeth healthy and strong. By seeing your dentist regularly, you can catch any problems early on and receive treatment to protect your tooth. At every dental visit, your dentist will ensure that any crowns you have fit well and are still in good condition.

If you have questions about your dental crowns, ask your dentist. They can give you tailored instructions on how to care for them and what to do if an issue arises.

  • Lifestyle habits

Daily habits can play a role in how long crowns do last. Smoking, using teeth as tools to open packages, nail-biting and chewing non-food objects like pens or ice can all put undue stress on crowns and cause them to fail prematurely.

  • Mouthguard 

People with bruxism should wear a mouth guard, especially if they get a dental crown. The grinding wears down your tooth enamel and can cause the crown to pop off. A mouthguard protects your teeth and dental crowns. Without a mouthguard, playing contact sports may lead to your crowns being knocked loose.

How do you know when it’s time for a crown replacement?

Your dentist will know when you need to replace your dental crowns. They can tell by observing the state of your teeth or through X-rays. If they see any sign of decay, they will likely recommend getting new crowns.

If your dental crown is poorly made or ill-fitting, you will likely notice this soon after the procedure. Signs of a poorly fitting or made crown include a misaligned bite and a feeling of looseness or discomfort when eating, particularly when chewing on caramel, hard lollies, crunchy foods or gum. If this occurs, see your dentist right away. In this situation, your dentist must replace the restoration with a new one.

If you can see any part of the natural tooth not covered by the dental crown, it’s time for a replacement. If a tooth becomes chipped or damaged, it’s more vulnerable to bacteria, requiring a replacement crown. A damaged dental crown needs immediate replacement and may constitute a dental emergency. A severely cracked or broken crown exposes the tooth underneath to food debris, which could lead to decay and infection.

It may be time to get a new dental crown if you experience any of the following:

  • Changes in the fit, such as gaps between the gumline and crown
  • Damage to the tooth beneath
  • Any sign of movement from the dental crown
  • If you want to change your crown looks
  • Visible damage to the crown
  • Any feelings of discomfort, sensitivity or pain, tenderness or swelling in your tooth

If your crown is chipped or cracked, your dentist may perform a restorative procedure rather than replacing it. Your dentist may try etching, silane coupling, or resin bonding to repair a damaged crown. These methods provide at least 30 months of extended lifespan to a dental crown 89% of the time.

Dental Crowns are a Long-Term Solution

While there are differences in longevity between the different dental crown materials, in general, dental crowns are a long-lasting dental solution. With proper post-procedure habits, you can typically expect your dental crown to last 5-15 years, if not longer. Plus, with CEREC technology, you can do the procedure in just one dentist visit.

At No Gaps Dental, we provide our patients with high-quality services to give patients like you peace of mind regarding their oral health. Read our blog to compare dental crowns vs. fillings, and contact us today at (02) 8806 0227 to book an appointment and learn more about our restorative dental procedures.

Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.

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