A dental crown is an option for restoring a damaged tooth. A tooth that is chipped, cracked, broken, or severely decayed can sometimes be saved by placing a crown over the remaining tooth material. If your dentist has recommended a crown for one or more of your teeth, you may have some questions. How long do dental crowns last? What factors contribute to how long they last? Learn the answers to these questions and more about dental crowns.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a protective covering placed over a tooth, sometimes called a cap. The crown is shaped like the original tooth to provide a natural look and function. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or porcelain fused to metal. The type of material used may depend on the location of the tooth or the patient’s personal preference.
The existing tooth enamel will need to be reduced to make room for the crown to fit over it. Once the tooth is prepared, impressions are made to create the crown. The crown is then cemented into place for a permanent restoration. It allows the natural root of the tooth to remain intact, providing support for the crown.
How Long Do Crowns Last?
A dental crown lasts an average of 15 years. In some cases, it may not last that long, and in other cases, it may last even longer. Every situation and every patient is different, which means there is no definite length of time you ensure your crown will last. Metal crowns tend to last longer than porcelain crowns, but metal crowns don’t provide the natural appearance that porcelain does.
How To Help Your Crown Last Longer
If you want to get the most years possible out of your dental crown, there are some things you can do:
Take care of your teeth at home. Taking care of the tooth underneath the crown as well as the crown itself, will help it last. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss once a day to remove plaque from the surface of your teeth and between them. This will also prevent plaque from getting under your crown and causing decay to the enamel beneath it.
Go to the dentist for regular cleanings and exams. Regular professional teeth cleanings will help your crown last longer by keeping it and the tooth under it clean and healthy. Your dentist can also check the condition of your crown at each visit in case it becomes loose or damaged in any way.
Wear a mouthguard for teeth grinding. If you grind your teeth, especially if this is the cause of the damage to your tooth in the first place, you should wear a mouthguard at night to protect your crown and your other teeth from damage.
Avoid chewing on hard foods and ice. Your crown may last longer if you avoid chewing hard foods or ice, especially on that side of your mouth.
What is the Process for Having a Crown Replaced?
If your crown is damaged or loose, the first step is to remove it. If the crown is still in good condition, your dentist may be able to cement it back into place. If the crown is damaged, a new one will need to be made. Impressions will be made of your teeth to create a crown that is the correct size and shape. Then the new crown will be cemented into place to replace the old one.
As long as the natural portion of the tooth is still healthy, a crown is still a viable restoration option. If the natural tooth under the crown is discovered to be decayed or damaged, the tooth may need to be replaced with a dental implant or bridge.
The Dental Partners of Vero Beach provide general dentistry services, cosmetic dentistry services, endodontic treatment, and much more! They strive to provide clients with an exceptional and comprehensive approach to overall dental care and health.