One of the questions we’re often asked as dentists is how long do crowns last. Dental crowns are custom-made restorations that a dentist cements over the top of a tooth—hence why they are called ‘caps’.
On average, they tend to have a limited lifespan—albeit for many years—rather than last you for a lifetime.
How long crowns last depends on several factors, including the materials used, how you care for them and even what foods you eat.
What are dental crowns used for?
A dental crown is used to repair a tooth that may have sustained chips or cracks. By restoring it to its original shape, size, function and strength, your tooth will last for many more years. Additionally, replacing a disfigured tooth can improve the appearance of your smile.
So now you know what a dental crown is, several factors can influence how long dental crowns last. These include.
The material used
- Porcelain, for example, is a robust, durable and natural-looking material that can last – on average, fifteen years or more with good care.
- Zirconia has excellent aesthetic properties and mimics the appearance of natural teeth well. However, zirconia dental crowns typically last a little less time – twelve years on average.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) dental crowns are less expensive than those listed above and typically have a shelf-life of around ten years
- Metal dental crowns, including gold alloy, are the strongest of the lot and can last for up to twenty years. However, the drawback is that metal crowns remain visible in the mouth.
So how long do crowns last?
Based on material alone, an average figure would be fifteen years.
Many other factors influence the longevity of a dental crown. These include:
Biting down on some hard foods may damage a dental crown. Nuts, popcorn and ice cubes can damage crowns, as well as your teeth.
Position of crowned teeth
The position of a crowned tooth also affects how durable it is.
If the problem tooth is at the back of the mouth, it is under stress from biting and chewing forces.
Often, the position of other misaligned teeth can also damage it.
If you suffer from bruxism (teeth grinding or jaw clenching), your crown can be damaged by the forces exerted on it. Even chewing your fingernails or pen tops can also affect how long your crown lasts.
Poor oral hygiene
A dental crown will only have a significant lifespan alongside good oral health. If tooth decay is prevalent, the underlying tooth can weaken, causing the crown to become unstable. If gum disease advances, it damages the tooth ligament and underlying bone resulting in complete tooth loss.
As you can see, the question of ‘how long do crowns last?’ isn’t as simple as giving a straight numerical answer. Instead, many factors dictate how long an individual crown lasts, depending upon the circumstances.
Despite the variation in longevity, quality dental crowns are one of the most versatile treatments in dentistry and are useful in a variety of situations to treat dental health problems. These include:
Teeth that are damaged, for example, cracked or worn down, can be strengthened and have their shape, appearance, and function restored with a dental crown.
Dental crowns can add strength to a tooth that has had decay removed during a dental filling or root canal procedure – particularly the latter where the tooth is, in effect, dead. Attaching a dental crown is a way of protecting and preserving the tooth.
Dental crowns can replace missing teeth as part of a dental implant or elements of a dental bridge.
How Long Do Dental Crowns Last? – The Takeaway
Although hard-wearing dental crowns are not unbreakable, they should withstand most of the standard functions of natural teeth. If you look after them properly, quality dental restorations should last for a long time, in some cases that may be twenty years.
Just like your regular teeth, however, crowns aren’t invincible, so if you use them to open bottle tops or to break ice cubes, then you may be paying out for new restorations sooner than you think.
If you would like to know the answer to the question of how long do dental crowns last for your specific oral situation, our dentists at Beyond Dental Care can help. They will take a closer look and suggest the best type of dental crown for your case while considering your preferences, budget, etc.
Don’t put up with a less-than-perfect smile. Instead, contact our experienced dentists at Beyond Dental Care on (07) 3067 9086 today. We use only the best materials to give you a long-lasting dental crown that you can wear with pride.
Isn’t it about time you waved goodbye to problem teeth and hello to a confident and healthier smile?