A dental crown is a protective covering placed over a decayed or damaged tooth. A crown is used when the extent of the damage to the natural crown of the tooth is too great for a filling, inlay, or onlay, but the root is still intact. If your dentist has recommended restoring one of your teeth with a crown, you may have some questions about it. How long do dental crowns last? What factors affect their lifespan? Learn the answer to these questions and more.
Average Lifespan of a Dental Crown
You can expect a dental crown to last for an average of 15 years. With excellent care and maintenance, a crown can last for 20 years or more. There are many factors that contribute to the length of time a crown lasts, either shortening or lengthening its lifespan.
Factors That Affect the Lifespan of a Dental Crown
The following factors play a part in the longevity of a dental crown:
- Oral hygiene habits. How well you take care of your teeth will affect the lifespan of your crown. Brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day will help keep your crown, and the tooth underneath it, clean and healthy. Failing to properly clean your teeth can allow plaque bacteria to form on the tooth and the crown, potentially working its way underneath the crown to cause decay.
- Regular dental visits. In addition to cleaning your teeth at home, you need to go to the dentist every 6 months for regular cleanings and oral exams. Your dentist can remove plaque that is left behind after brushing and flossing. The oral exam will identify any potential problems with your crown, such as damage or loosening.
- Type of crown. Dental crowns are made of porcelain, metal alloy, gold alloy, or porcelain fused to metal. Metal crowns tend to last longer than porcelain crowns because the material is stronger and less susceptible to cracking or breaking. However, porcelain provides the most natural appearance, making it one of the most common materials for crowns.
- Quality of the crown. The higher the quality of the material used to make the crown, the longer it will last. This is especially true of porcelain. The higher the quality of the porcelain that is used, the more natural it will look and the longer it will last.
- Location of the crown. A crown placed on a front tooth may last longer than a crown on a molar. This is because molars bear the brunt of the chewing force exerted by your teeth and jaw, causing them to wear down faster and crack or chip more frequently.
- Eating and chewing habits. What you eat will affect the lifespan of your crown as well. Chewing on hard foods, ice, or non-food items can cause damage to your crown, shortening its lifespan.
- Teeth grinding and clenching. If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw due to stress, your crown may not last as long. Teeth grinding and clenching puts extra strain on your crown that could cause it to wear down more quickly and potentially crack or break. Wearing a mouthguard can help protect your crown as well as your other teeth from damage due to grinding.
How is a Crown Replaced?
If your crown does wear out, the replacement process is quick and easy. The old crown will be removed, impressions will be made, and a new crown will be created. Once your new crown is ready, it will be bonded into place with dental cement, ready to last another 15 years or more.
Lane Family Dentistry Provides Quality Dental Crowns
For a crown to last as long as possible, it must be made with high quality materials. Lane Family Dentistry provides quality dental crowns made of porcelain or metal. We will recommend the best type of crown for you depending on your needs and the location of the tooth. See us every 6 months for dental cleanings and maintenance and your crown could last a lifetime.