By: Dr. Lahiru Chandraweera

October 10, 2023

The Complete Guide to Dental Crown Lifespan and Care

Imagine biting into a juicy apple, your favourite food, only to feel discomfort due to a worn-out dental crown. Dental crowns are a common dental treatment that many Australians rely on to restore the appearance and functionality of their teeth. But how long do dental crowns last, and what can you do to make them last longer?

Understanding dental crown lifespan and dental crown care is essential for anyone who has undergone this procedure. With proper care and attention to oral hygiene, dental crowns can last a significant amount of time, preserving the natural tooth and enhancing oral health.

In this guide, we will explore dental crown materials, dental crown replacement, and the essential factors that contribute to the success and condition of dental crowns. We’ll discuss the various materials and their lifespan, along with tips for dental crown maintenance.

Are you ready to take control of your oral health and extend the lifespan of your dental crowns? Keep reading to discover the secrets to dental crown success.

Hills Family Dental Centre

Summary of the Content

  • Dental crowns restore and enhance teeth, with a lifespan of 5 to 15 years.

  • Various materials like zirconia, porcelain, and metal are used, each with different lifespans and characteristics.

  • Regular care, including check-ups and proper dental hygiene routines, extends the lifespan of dental crowns.

  • Harmful habits like grinding teeth or chewing hard objects can shorten lifespan.

  • Dental crown replacement may be necessary due to wear and tear, damage, improper fit, or cosmetic reasons.

  • Comprehensive oral hygiene routines are essential, including selecting gentle cleaning products and avoiding certain foods.

  • Regular dental visits allow dentists to monitor crown health, perform professional cleanings, and assess oral hygiene habits.

  • Avoiding harmful habits, such as chewing hard objects and poor oral hygiene, preserves the crown’s integrity.

Introduction to Dental Crown Lifespan

A dental crown is a vital component in dental care, offering both aesthetic benefits and functional support. Let’s delve into the details:

  • What is a Dental Crown?
    A dental crown restoration is a cap that fits over a decayed or damaged tooth, restoring its original shape and appearance.

  • Purposes of Dental Crowns:
    • Protecting a Weak Tooth:
      Dental crowns reinforce teeth weakened by decay or large fillings, preventing further damage.
    • Restoring a Worn or Broken Tooth:
      Crowns restore the shape and function of teeth that have been broken or excessively worn.
    • Supporting a Tooth with a Large Filling:
      When there isn’t much of the natural tooth left, a crown supports and preserves it.
    • Covering Discoloured or Misshapen Teeth:
      For cosmetic purposes, crowns can enhance the appearance of teeth that are misshapen or stained.

  • Average Lifespan:
    These artificial teeth usually last between 5-15 years, depending on various factors.

  • Factors Affecting Lifespan:
    • Dental Care and Maintenance:
      Regular dental check-ups and proper home care extend the life of a crown.
    • Harmful Habits:
      Grinding teeth or chewing hard objects can shorten the lifespan of dental crowns.
    • Integrity of Natural Tooth:
      The condition of the underlying tooth can impact longevity.
    • Type of Materials Used:
      Different materials, such as metal alloys or porcelain, have varying lifespans.

Understanding these elements and maintaining a commitment to dental care can lead to the long-term success of dental restorations.

Types of Dental Crowns and Their Lifespan

The choice of dental crown materials is pivotal in determining both the appearance and longevity of the crown. Here’s an in-depth look:

  • Zirconia:
    Known for its strength, zirconia crowns often last longer than porcelain.
    • Advantages: Highly durable, aesthetically pleasing.
    • Disadvantages: Can be more abrasive to opposing teeth.

  • Porcelain:
    All-porcelain crowns offer a natural appearance and last between 5 to 15 years with proper home care.
    • Advantages:
      Excellent colour match to natural teeth, suitable for people with metal allergies.
    • Disadvantages:
      Less strong than metal crowns, may wear down over time.

  • Temporary Crowns:
    Used for a short period, usually 2 to 3 weeks.
    • Advantages: Provide protection while waiting for the final crown.
    • Disadvantages: Not meant for long-term use, less durable.

  • Metal Crowns:
    These can last anywhere from 10-15 years, depending on care and tooth location.
    • Advantages: Highly durable, less likely to wear down.
    • Disadvantages: Metallic colour, not suitable for visible areas.

  • PFM (Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal):
    These crowns can last eight years or more with proper installation.
    • Advantages: Strong and aesthetically pleasing.
    • Disadvantages: Porcelain parts can chip or break, and underlying metal may show through as a dark line along the gum line.

By understanding the different dental crown materials and their respective advantages and disadvantages, patients can make informed decisions that cater to their specific needs and preferences.

How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Dental Crown

Extending the dental crown lifespan is not just about the dental crown materials used or the dental procedure itself; it’s about the dental crown care that follows. Here are some practical tips to make your dental crown last longer:

  • Regular Check-Ups:
    Schedule regular dental check-ups to monitor the condition of the crown.

  • Oral Hygiene Practices:
    Maintain good oral hygiene to prevent plaque accumulation and the development of potential issues that could affect the crown.

  • Choose the Right Toothpaste:
    Use non-abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching the surface of the crown. The scratches may cause irregularities that can result in the accumulation of plaque.

  • Professional Dental Cleanings:
    Regular cleanings by dental professionals can keep crowns in the finest condition.

  • Avoid Bad Habits:
    Chewing on hard objects or using teeth as tools can damage crowns and lead to more dental crown complications.

By following these guidelines, you can enjoy a wide range of benefits from your dental crown, including successful treatment, improved periodontal health, and fresh breath.

Common Reasons for Dental Crown Replacement

Dental crown replacement is sometimes necessary, and understanding why can help you take proactive steps to maintain your oral health. Here are at least six common reasons:

  • Wear and Tear:
    Over time, crowns for teeth can wear down, especially if made from non-metal materials.

  • Damage to Teeth Underneath:
    Decay or damage to the natural teeth underneath may necessitate dental crown replacement.

  • Improper Fit:
    An improperly fitted tooth crown may lead to tooth decay or other dental issues.

  • Cosmetic Reasons:
    Stubborn stains and chipping may necessitate the replacement of a crown.

  • Gum Disease:
    Poor oral hygiene increases the risk of gum disease and may affect the attachment of the crowned tooth to the underlying bone.

  • Damage to the Crown Itself:
    Habitual teeth grinding or eating hard foods can cause cracks or chips.

Identifying these signs early and seeking a proper diagnosis from an experienced dental professional can help prevent tooth decay, extend the lifespan of the crown, and improve the success rate of this treatment.

Dental Crown Care: A Comprehensive Guide

Dental crown care is essential for the longevity and functionality of your crown. Here’s a comprehensive guide to oral hygiene routines after the dental crown procedure:

  • Use Proper Dental Hygiene Materials:
    Select toothbrushes and toothpaste that are gentle on your crown, like soft-bristled toothbrushes and non-abrasive toothpaste.

  • Regular Cleaning:
    Regular brushing and flossing of dental crowns can help remove food particles and plaque buildup.

  • Avoid Certain Foods:
    Stay away from hard or sticky foods. These may damage or loosen the crown.

  • Extra Care with Temporary Crowns:
    Temporary crowns require extra care as they are less retentive than final dental crowns.

  • Post-Placement Care:
    Follow your dentist’s dental crown care instructions closely, including any specific recommendations for oral care.

By understanding the pros and cons of the different types of crowns and taking the proper steps in daily care, you can extend the dental crown’s lifespan and enjoy the benefits of a healthy and beautiful smile.

The Role of Regular Dental Visits in Crown Maintenance

Regular dental visits are not merely a routine; they are a cornerstone in maintaining the health and longevity of dental crowns. Here’s how these visits contribute to dental crown lifespan:

  • Monitoring Crown Health:
    An experienced dentist can assess the integrity of the crown by checking for any sign of damage to tooth restorations.

  • Cleaning and Maintenance:
    Regular maintenance appointments include professional cleanings that enable dentists to remove deposits that cannot be eliminated solely through daily cleaning habits

  • Assessing Oral Hygiene Habits:
    Dentists assess your dental hygiene habits and offer guidance to prevent harmful habits that could impact the longevity of the crown.

  • Procedures and Checks Performed:
    • Examination of Base Metals:
      Checking the metal crown framework and crown edge for wear or damage.
    • Assessment of Fit:
      Checking if the fitting is maintained and if the crown aligns well.
    • Evaluation of Oral Health:
      Checking for any signs of infection or other diseases that might affect the crown’s entire lifespan.

By scheduling regular visits to your dentist, you can extend the lifespan of your dental crown so you can enjoy long-lasting success.

Avoiding Harmful Habits for Dental Crown Health

Dental crown care goes beyond the choice of materials or the fitting procedure. It involves daily choices and habits. Here’s a list of harmful habits that can affect dental crown lifespan and tips to avoid them:

  • Chewing Hard Objects:
    Although dental crowns are durable, they are not as strong as natural teeth. Crowns can fracture or break when used to chew hard food and other objects.
    • Tip:
      Refrain from eating hard food. Slice them into small pieces if possible. Also, use tools to open packages, not your teeth.

  • Grinding Teeth:
    Continuous grinding of teeth can cause excessive pressure on the crowns and opposing teeth, resulting in their wearing down.
    • Tip:
      Consider a mouth guard for night-time use.

  • Poor Oral Hygiene:
    Decay can undermine the integrity of the tooth underneath as well as the crown.
    • Tip:
      Maintain routine check-ups and professional cleaning and use fluoride toothpaste.

  • Consuming Sugary Foods:
    These can increase plaque accumulation around the tooth, increasing the risk of tooth decay and gum disease.
    • Tip:
      Balance your diet and rinse your mouth with mouthwash after consuming such foods.

Consulting with professional dentists and understanding the potential impact of lifestyle habits will help you maximise the long-term benefits of your dental crowns.

Final Thoughts

Dental crowns are more than a dental restoration; they are a commitment to oral maintenance and health. From understanding the pros and cons of different dental crown materials to adopting preventive practices, this guide has covered essential aspects of dental crown lifespan, dental crown care, dental crown replacement, and dental crown materials.

Key takeaways include:

  • The importance of selecting the right materials, from porcelain exterior to base metals.
  • Regular dental appointments and check-ups with an experienced dentist.
  • Avoiding harmful habits and adopting healthy oral hygiene habits.
  • Recognising the signs of decay or active gum disease and taking timely action.

Taking proactive steps in caring for your dental crowns enhances your smile and contributes to your overall dental health success. Whether you are concerned about the accumulation of plaque, feelings of pain, or the development of plaque, Hills Family Dental Centre Kalamunda is here to assist you.

Please book a consultation appointment today by calling Hills Family Dental Centre Kalamunda or visiting our dental practice website. Let us guide you through the journey of dental crown installations and long-term care and help you achieve a better smile and oral health.