Dental crowns are used to restore the visible portion of a tooth to its original shape. This dental restoration encases the entire tooth and can be used to treat various dental issues, such as cracked or broken teeth and heavily stained or misshapen teeth.
All crowns have a limited lifespan, but there are things you can do to extend the life of your tooth crown. The lifetime of a dental crown depends on several factors, including the material used and how well you care for your smile.
How long does a tooth crown last?
Did you know that the average dental crown lasts around 10 years? However, a good dental crown can last for decades if there are no other oral health problems.
Two main oral health concerns that will affect how long a tooth crown last are: active gum disease and an imbalanced mouth microbiome. The latter leads to more cavities.
Factors affecting the life span of the tooth crown
Your crown’s lifespan is usually determined by its location. The different areas of your teeth experience various intensities of force when you bite and chew, which dictates how long a crown in that particular area will last.
The back teeth used for chewing tolerate the most force, so crowns placed on molars tend to wear out faster than those in the front. Also, posterior crowns are more likely to crack than anterior ones.
However, because front teeth are more visible when you smile or talk, they are susceptible to damage from impact due to vehicular or sporting accidents.
The lifespan of a dental crown is also contingent upon the materials used to construct it, which can be any of the following:
Gold alloy dental crowns last the longest, with about 90% surviving for over four decades. The alloys are created when gold, copper, and zinc are mixed. Even though this combination makes the restoration stronger, it also raises the cost more than other materials would.
Full porcelain crowns typically last for 10 years. Although they cost more than other options, they are popular because they resist staining and have a lustre that makes them look similar to natural teeth. With an experienced dentist, porcelain crowns can be applied with little tooth preparation.
Porcelain fused to metal crowns have a grey metal substructure beneath the porcelain. Over time, the greyish tint of the porcelain fused metal crowns framework might show through its porcelain exterior. Although this is one potential downside, PFM crowns are still extremely durable, with an average lifespan of 15-20 years; furthermore, they are also easy to match with the colour of your natural teeth.
Composite resin crowns are a more affordable option and look very natural. However, they require extra care to avoid fractures and wear and tear. With proper at-home oral hygiene and routine inspections by your dentist every 6 months, composite resin crowns may last over a decade.
Lack of proper oral hygiene
If you don’t take care of your dental crown, it won’t last as long. Plaque and tartar will cause tooth decay underneath the crown, which means you’ll have to get a new one eventually. Also, if you brush too hard or use a toothbrush with stiff bristles, you can damage the restoration and make it more likely to break down over time.
Follow these steps to keep your tooth crown in good condition:
- Brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride-based toothpaste.
- Flossing once every day.
- Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash to remove plaque and bacteria.
Lifestyle and habits
There are some lifestyle choices that can lead to a dental crown not lasting as long, such as smoking tobacco, grinding your teeth, and biting your nails. Avoiding these habits will help make sure that your crown has a fighting chance against a shorter life span.
Be kind to your teeth by avoiding hard or sticky foods. Things like candy and chewy gummies can pull at crowns and cause other dental problems. If you want to keep your smile shining, it’s best to steer clear of these sorts of food altogether.
Additionally, refrain from using your teeth as tools (e.g., don’t chew ice or open things with them). In case an underlying tooth is exposed after the pulling of the crown, it is at a high risk of bacterial infection.
If you are an active sportsman, it is a good idea to talk to your dentist about getting a custom mouthguard to wear while playing sports. This can help protect your teeth from being damaged. You can also try using a mouth guard at night to protect against teeth grinding.
How do you know when it’s time to get a new tooth crown?
There are many signs that indicate it’s time to replace your dental crown, some of which include the following:
If you notice that your gum line is beginning to pull away from your teeth, it’s a sign that you may have active gum disease, dry mouth, or you have overbrushed your teeth.
Having receding gums increases your vulnerability to tooth decay and infection because the tooth roots are exposed.
When your gum recedes, it can also make the cement bonding prone to wear and tear. This may expose the framework of a porcelain fused metal crown which can result in an unsightly smile.
Pain and swelling
If you experience pain or swelling around your tooth, it may be a sign that you need to replace your dental crown. A loose crown can irritate your gums and cause inflammation. In case of any decay under the crown, it can also cause pain or swelling.
Over time, a dental crown (made of any material) can accumulate plaque and tartar, making it look yellow or grey. Foods with pigment can also stain composite materials, which may cause your smile to look blotchy.
The only way to achieve a whiter smile if you have a dental crown is to replace it. A dental crown cannot be whitened with bleaching agents professionally.
Visit No Gaps Dental for high-quality tooth crowns
No Gaps Dental offers durable crowns for teeth. Our crowns, made from premium materials, can improve the way your teeth look and function.
At our 15 conveniently located clinics, we want to help you smile with confidence. Whether you need one crown or several dental restorations, our experienced dentists can give you the perfect smile. Book your appointment or call with us on (02) 8007 6727 today to schedule a consultation.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks.
How long can you expect a crown to last?