For those considering dental crowns as a way to perfect their smile, there are many questions to be asked before taking the plunge and beginning the process. The most common question dental professionals are asked is “How long do crowns last?” There is no concrete answer to this question. If your crowns were placed by a reputable dentist, with quality materials, and well cared for for the duration of the time you have them, they can last anywhere between 5-15 years.
There are many variables that play a role in how long a crown will last; the most common being:
- Care of the crown
- Condition of the tooth under the crown
- External trauma
- Full or partial crown
- Installation of crown
- Location of the crown
- Materials used
- Periodontal health
- Oral hygiene
- Wear and tear
The list above is not all-inclusive but does give you an idea of what factors to think about when determining how long a crown should last. If you chew ice or have a habit of opening bottles with your teeth, be prepared to need crown repair or replacement in the near future. After placement, crowns need to be taken care of from both an oral hygiene perspective, and a “user habit” perspective. Even the best constructed and placed crowns will not be able to withstand these pressures on a regular basis. They are not indestructible, and should not be treated as such.
Dental crowns are not the best solution for every patient. At your consultation appointment with your dental professional, the best course of action will be discussed based on your particular need, and the lifestyle that you lead. They are typically only recommended if they are the best long term solution available, based on your discussion with your dentist and your oral health.
After determining that crowns are the ideal choice for the patient, the dentist will begin to consider all of the materials available, and what materials will work best for their particular patients’ needs. Both the aesthetics and qualities of the patient are considered and factored into the equations.
Before placing the crown the surface needs to be dry and textured correctly, to achieve optimal results. The best types of cement are used to adhere to them, and it is almost a completely pain-free procedure. After placement, the dentist will teach you how to care for your crowns in addition to taking care of your natural teeth.
Then the procedure is over, and it is time to leave the dental office. It is imperative that you maintain good oral hygiene to get the longest life from your crown. Keeping your mouth healthy will increase the chances of your crown lasting for many years to come.
In addition to having good oral hygiene, you need to be aware of your crown. Typically, crowns are made of ceramic and a choice of metal. These materials are not as strong as our natural teeth. You will need to decrease your biting force, as you can cause damage to the crown if you use too much pressure. If you have grinding and clenching habits, it may be beneficial to wear a mouthguard at night to ensure you do not damage your crown while sleeping.
If you notice discoloration, crack, or looseness in the crown, contact your dental professional right away. It is ideal to get your crown repaired in a timely manner to mitigate the risk of more severe damages.
Overall, the life expectancy of your crown will depend on its placement, the materials used for the crown itself and the adhesion of it, and the lifestyle that the patient leads. Proper oral hygiene and regular dental exams will help to keep the crown in good condition.