Do you have a tooth that is cracked, chipped, or severely decayed? If so, the tooth may need to be fitted with a dental crown. Crowns are one of the most common restorative options for damaged teeth because they allow the natural root of the tooth to stay in place. They are a relatively simple, low maintenance procedure for saving a tooth.
Before you consider investing in a dental crown, you may be wondering how long they last. Here’s an idea of what to expect when it comes to the lifespan of a dental crown.
Average Lifespan of a Dental Crown
A dental crown typically lasts an average of 10-15 years. But in many cases they last much longer than that. There are a few different factors that can affect the lifespan of a crown, but first it helps to know what a crown is and how it works.
What is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cover that is placed over an existing tooth. When damage or severe decay occurs and there isn’t enough enamel left for a filling, a crown provides a restorative option to protect the tooth. The existing enamel must be reduced somewhat to make room for the crown to fit over it. Then the crown is permanently bonded to the remaining tooth material, leaving the root intact for support.
Crowns can be made of porcelain or metal depending on the location of the tooth and your personal preference. Porcelain provides a natural look that is strong and durable. Metal is stronger, but doesn’t offer the natural look of porcelain. A metal crown may be used on a back molar that is less visible but bears the brunt of the chewing force.
Factors That Affect the Lifespan of a Dental Crown
A crown may last longer or shorter than the average due to the following reasons:
- Material. A metal crown will typically last longer than a porcelain crown because it is not as susceptible to wearing down or cracking.
- Location of the crown. A crown over a molar may not last as long as a crown on a front tooth because the back teeth absorb the majority of the chewing force.
- Oral hygiene. The better you take care of your teeth, the longer your crown will last. The remaining tooth material and root will stay healthier if you brush twice a day and floss once a day.
- Regular dental cleanings. Your crown may last longer if you go to the dentist regularly for cleanings and oral exams. These help to keep your teeth clean and allow your dentist to detect any potential problems with your crown.
- What you eat. A dental crown should allow you to eat whatever you want. However, frequently chewing hard foods like nuts, seeds, candy, ice, etc. could cause your crown to wear down prematurely. It is also best not to chew or bite non-food items like pens and pencils and avoid opening containers with your teeth.
- Teeth grinding. Many people unknowingly grind their teeth, which can often be the reason a crown is needed in the first place. You can protect your crown from damage due to teeth grinding by wearing a night guard over your teeth when you sleep.
Why Should I Get a Dental Crown?
There are many benefits of dental crowns that make them worth the time and cost. The biggest benefit is that a crown can save your tooth, allowing it to stay in place in your mouth with just a protective covering. If you were to leave the tooth unprotected it would eventually become too damaged to be saved. It would then need to be extracted and replaced, which is a more costly dental procedure. Leaving a gap in your mouth due to a missing tooth can cause all sorts of dental problems from other teeth shifting out of place to bone loss in the jaw. Restoring the tooth with a dental crown is the best option for most patients.
Oak Road Dentistry Provides Quality Dental Crowns
If you have a tooth that is chipped, cracked, or otherwise damaged, a crown may be able to restore the health and function of the tooth. Oak Road Dentistry provides high quality, lasting dental crowns made of porcelain or metal. As long as you take care of your crown and the rest of your teeth and come see us regularly for cleanings and exams, your crown could last a lifetime.