Many patients with broken, damaged, severely discoloured, or weak teeth look into dental crowns to restore their smile and improve their oral health. Dental crowns, also known as caps, are dental restoration that covers the entire tooth above the gum line.
But how long do they last? Are there ways to maintain crown lifespan? This blog post will address both of these questions in more detail.
How Many Years Can A Dental Crown Last?
Typically, the average lifespan of a crown is between 10 and 15 years. With proper care, they can last up to 25 to 30 years. A 2007 literature review of published research estimated a 94% survival rate of dental crowns for five years while a 90% rate for ten years.
Here’s a typical timeline:
- 1 to 3 years
You can use your crowns for eating and drinking as usual.
- 3 to 5 years
The crowns may show some wear and tear, but they should still be functional. If you don’t practice good oral hygiene, tooth decay and gum disease can occur at this stage.
- 5 to 10 years
The crowns may need to be replaced or refitted due to continued wear and tear and changes in your mouth (e.g., tooth movement, jaw growth). If you have gum disease, it can also speed up the wear of your dental crowns.
- 10 to 15 years
At this point, most people will need to replace their dental crowns due to excessive wear. However, if you take good care of them, they may last longer, such as gold crowns, the gold standard, with a 96% survival rate of over ten years.
Factors That Affect The Lifespan Of A Crown
There are a few factors that affect your crowns’ lifespan, including:
- Oral hygiene habits
The way you take care of your teeth and gums plays a vital role in a long-lasting dental crown. For instance, if you don’t brush and floss regularly, you’re more likely to develop gum disease, which can lead to losing your dental crowns.
- Tooth grinding or clenching
If you grind or clench your teeth, it can put extra wear and tear on your dental crowns. It also damages your tooth enamel, resulting in a damaged crown.
- Teeth whitening
If you use teeth whitening products, they can cause your crowns to become discoloured over time.
- Biting on hard objects
Biting your nails, chewing on ice, or eating hard candy are harmful habits that can damage your dental crowns. These habits can put extra force on your teeth, loosening or breaking the crowns.
- Dental crown materials and type of crown
The type of material used for your dental crowns can affect how long they last. For instance, composite resin crowns are more likely to chip or wear down than metal crowns. Similarly, some dental studies found that the types of crowns have different success rates. One study shows that fatigue makes Zirconia crowns have a small risk of crown failure.
Maintaining Your Dental Crowns: Helpful Tips
The following are helpful tips on how to maintain your dental crowns and maintain their optimum lifespan:
- Practice good dental care.
It means brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing on a daily basis, and using mouthwash. Choose a toothbrush with soft bristles to avoid damaging your crowns and toothpaste that contains fluoride. You must also keep the tooth under the crown healthy to avoid tooth decay, which can damage your crown and the adjacent teeth.
- See your dentist regularly.
You should see your dentist every six months for a cleaning and checkup. This helps prevent gum disease and tooth decay, which can lead to the need for a crown replacement.
- Eat a healthy diet.
While a healthy diet is good for your overall health, it’s also important for your dental health. Sugary and acidic foods can lead to cavities, while sticky foods can get stuck in your teeth and cause decay.
- Quit smoking.
Smoking is bad for your dental health, increasing your risk of gum disease and tooth decay. If you can’t quit, try to smoke less to reduce the damage to your teeth and gums.
- Use a night guard.
While crowns are known to be durable, they are also susceptible to wear like your regular teeth if you don’t take care of them. If you have a habit of clenching or grinding your teeth at night, it can damage your dental crowns. To protect your teeth, wear a night guard while you sleep.
- Be careful with your teeth.
Do not bite hard objects, such as your nails or ice, as these can cause damage to crowns.
- Avoid stain-causing foods and beverages.
While crowns may not be as susceptible to staining as natural teeth, they can still become discoloured over time. To help prevent this, avoid foods and drinks known to cause stains, such as red wine and coffee.
Signs You Need To Replace Your Dental Crown
While crowns can be repaired, depending on the severity of the damage, there following are signs that a replacement crown is necessary:
- You have pain and swelling.
If you have pain or swelling around your dental crown, it’s a sign that the crown is no longer fitting properly. For example, increased sensitivity to hot or cold temperatures can signify that your crown needs to be replaced.
- Your crown is loose.
If your crown feels loose, it may not be properly seated on your tooth. This can happen if you don’t practice good oral hygiene or if you grind or clench your teeth.
- You have an infection.
If an infection is under your dental crown, your dentist must remove and replace it. Symptoms of an infection include pain, swelling, and fever.
- Your crown is discoloured.
Over time, your dental crowns may become discoloured due to staining from food and drink. If this happens, you may want to consider replacing the crowns with new ones.
- Change in fit.
If your crown feels loose, it may no longer fit properly. It can occur due to changes in your mouth, such as tooth movement or jaw growth.
- Decay underneath the crown.
Your dentist needs to do a crown replacement if you have decay underneath your dental crown.
- Damage to the crown.
You need to replace your crown if it is cracked, chipped, or broken. Your dentist will be able to tell you this during a regular checkup.
Dental crowns are a great way to restore your smile and improve oral health. With the right maintenance, they can last up to 25 to 30 years. You can take measures to maintain their lifespan, including practising good oral hygiene routines, regular dentist visits for regular checkups and cleanings, avoiding sticky and hard foods, etc.
Do you have damaged teeth or other dental issues and want to know if dental crown treatment is right for your condition? Call us at 08 6196 4661 to book a consultation. Piara Waters Dental is a state-of-the-art dental clinic with a team of dentists with several years of experience performing dental crown procedures. We equipped our clinic with advanced equipment to ensure proper diagnosis.
One of the dentists will gently examine your teeth and periodontal health to ensure that you are a good candidate for the procedure. They will discuss what to expect from the treatment, including its lifespan, benefits and risks. Once you are cleared for treatment, the dentist will take X-rays and impressions of your teeth to prepare for the procedure. Depending on your treatment, they will place a temporary crown while waiting for your permanent crown to be finished in the dental lab for about two weeks. Your next dental visit will involve temporary crown removal and permanent crown placement.
People with cracked, damaged, weak, misshapen or broken teeth are good candidates for dental crowns. If you have severely stained teeth, a crown can also be used to cover up the discolouration. In addition, if you had root canal therapy, a dental crown can be used to protect the tooth to avoid further damage. Similarly, a crown can be placed after a dental implant procedure.
According to the Australian national dental survey in 2020, the average cost of both porcelain crowns and ceramic crowns can be up to $2,100. On the other hand, a full metal crown can range between $1614 and $2131. These may be higher or lower, depending on your location, dentist, insurance, dental crown materials and type of crown. Ask your dentist for an estimate before getting the procedure.
There are a few ways a tooth crown can damage natural teeth. First, sometimes your dentist needs to remove some part of your already healthy tooth structure to make room for the crown. Second, if the fit isn’t perfect, your natural teeth can rub against the inside of the crown and wear down over time. Third, if you have a metal allergy, you may experience irritation from the metal in dental alloys used in some types of crowns. This can lead to inflammation, itching, and swelling. Moreover, the original teeth under your crown can still get cavities if you don’t clean them properly.
The commonly used dental crown materials are metal alloys (including gold alloy, nickel, palladium, etc.), ceramic (including porcelain and zirconia), and resin (one of the materials for making temporary crowns).