Dental crowns are a go-to solution in restorative dentistry because they are versatile and provide many benefits. A crown is intended to serve as a long-term method of repairing a damaged tooth or protecting a weakened one from breaking. However, a restoration can be used along with other procedures, like root canal therapy. No matter the reason, a crown can last for a decade or longer before needing to be replaced, but many things will affect its lifespan. Here’s how long you can expect your crown to last and what you can do to maximize your investment.
Life Expectancy of Dental Crowns
The average life expectancy of a dental crown is about 10 years, but it’s not uncommon for them to last for much longer. Many things affect the lifespan of a restoration because no two mouths or situations are identical, like:
- Materials: Crowns can be made from metals, gold, porcelain, ceramics, and other materials. Restorations made of metals may last slightly longer than ceramic or porcelain.
- Location: Molars experience more wear and tear naturally. As a result, crowns placed in the back of the mouth can need replacing sooner than those in the front.
- Oral Hygiene: Although crowns can’t get cavities, your underlying tooth is still vulnerable to decay and infections. Brushing, flossing, and visiting your dentist regularly will keep cavities at bay to safeguard your natural teeth.
- Diet: Crowns are durable, but they aren’t indestructible. Eating hard or sticky foods often can damage them. It’s best to limit sugary foods and drinks to promote a cavity-free smile.
- Lifestyle Habits: Smoking and consuming alcohol frequently can lead to dental crown failure. Your dentist will also recommend breaking any bad oral habits, like chewing on your fingernails, eating ice, or using your teeth in place of scissors and other tools.
- Grinding and Clenching: Your natural teeth aren’t any match for untreated bruxism, and neither are dental crowns. A nightguard will create a barrier between your upper and lower teeth to prevent damage caused by grinding and clenching.
Signs You Need a New Dental Crown
No matter how well you care for your crown, there will come a time when you need a replacement. Contact your dentist right away if you have signs of a failing dental crown, like:
- Visible damage to the restoration.
- Pain affecting the underlying tooth.
- Gum recession or darkening of the gum line.
- Instability or looseness of the crown.
- The crown falls off.
- The crown is aesthetically displeasing.
Don’t wait for a minor issue to turn into a big problem. Your dentist will create a high-quality replacement crown to restore your beautiful smile.
About Dr. Scott Wehrkamp
Dr. Wehrkamp earned his dental degree from the Loyola University Chicago School of Dentistry and has regularly continued his education in advanced services, like orthodontics, periodontal surgery, dental implants, and full mouth reconstruction. He is a member of several professional organizations, including the American Dental Association. If you need a new crown, request an appointment through our website or call (605) 370-5493.