Dental crowns, also known as caps, play a crucial role in restoring the strength, function, and appearance of damaged teeth. Whether you’ve recently had a dental crown placed or are considering getting one, you might be wondering: How long should a dental crown last? In this blog post, we’ll explore the factors that influence the lifespan of dental crowns and offer tips on how to maximize their durability.
Understanding Dental Crowns
A dental crown is a custom-made restoration that fits over a damaged or weakened tooth. Crowns can serve various purposes, such as:
- Protecting a weak tooth from further damage.
- Restoring a broken or severely decayed tooth.
- Covering a tooth after a root canal treatment.
- Enhancing the appearance of a discoloured or misshapen tooth.
- Supporting a dental bridge or securing a dental implant.
Factors Affecting Crown Longevity
The lifespan of a dental crown can vary widely depending on several factors:
Material: Dental crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), metal, and zirconia. Each material has its own unique characteristics and durability.
Oral hygiene: Good oral hygiene practices are crucial for the longevity of dental crowns. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups help prevent plaque buildup, which can lead to decay and gum disease that may compromise the crown’s integrity.
Bite force: Excessive or uneven biting forces can put stress on the crown and the underlying tooth. If you grind your teeth (bruxism) or have a misaligned bite (malocclusion), it can reduce the lifespan of your crown. In such cases, a nightguard or bite adjustment may be recommended.
Location: Crowns placed on molars and premolars tend to endure more significant biting forces than those on front teeth. The location of the crown can impact its longevity.
Dental bonding: The quality of the adhesive used to attach the crown to the tooth matters. If the bonding weakens over time, it can lead to crown failure.
Trauma: Accidents or injuries can damage dental crowns. It’s essential to protect your teeth by wearing mouthguards during physical activities like sports.
Dentist’s skill: The expertise of your dentist plays a critical role in the success of your dental crown. A well-fitted and properly placed crown is more likely to last longer.
On average, dental crowns can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years or even longer with proper care. However, it’s not uncommon for crowns to last 20 years or more, especially when made from durable materials like zirconia or metal. The key to maximizing the lifespan of your crown is to take good care of it and address any issues promptly.
To ensure your dental crown lasts as long as possible, consider the following tips:
- Maintain excellent oral hygiene, including regular brushing and flossing.
- Attend regular dental check-ups and cleanings.
- Avoid chewing on hard objects or ice.
- Wear a mouthguard if you grind your teeth or play contact sports.
- Address any dental problems promptly to prevent further damage to the crown.
- Follow your dentist’s recommendations for care and maintenance.