Dental Crown Lifespan: A Comprehensive Overview and Tips to Preserve Durability

Dental Crown Lifespan: A Comprehensive Overview and Tips to Preserve Durability By Maylands Dental Centre | June 2, 2023

Dental Crown Lifespan: A Comprehensive Overview and Tips to Preserve Durability

Deciding on the appropriate dental restoration option can be a challenging task for many individuals. One option to consider is a dental crown, a popular and effective treatment offering aesthetic and functional benefits.

Like any dental restoration, it’s natural to wonder about the lifespan of a dental crown and how to make it last as long as possible. After all, dental crowns are an investment that you make toward your dental health, and you want to make the most out of your investment.

This blog post offers a comprehensive overview of dental crown lifespan and practical tips for dental crown maintenance and care. In the following sections, we’ll discuss what a dental crown is, the different types of dental crowns and materials available, and the factors that can impact its durability.

Moreover, we’ll share essential dental hygiene practices and explain the importance of regular dental checkups and addressing dental crown issues early. Finally, we’ll explore how lifestyle choices can impact the longevity of dental crowns.

So, if you’re considering a dental crown or looking for ways to extend the life of your existing one, continue reading for valuable insights and sound advice.

Summary of the Content:

  • Dental crowns are restorative measures for damaged or decayed teeth, and knowing their lifespan is important for oral health maintenance.
  • Different materials, such as metal, porcelain, and ceramic, are used in fabricating dental crowns, and each material has varying levels of durability.
  • Factors affecting dental crown lifespan include oral hygiene habits, tooth location, and harmful habits like grinding teeth.
  • The average lifespan of dental crowns ranges from 5 to 15 years, depending on factors like material and maintenance.
  • Prolonging dental crown durability involves good oral hygiene, regular dental checkups, and making healthier lifestyle choices.
  • Early detection and management of dental crown issues can prevent further damage, maintain functionality, and protect oral health.
  • Lifestyle choices, such as a balanced diet, quitting tobacco, and avoiding chewing on non-food items, can impact dental crown lifespan.
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What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is a custom-made, tooth-shaped cap designed to cover an entire tooth, restoring its original shape, size, and function. Dental crowns improve the appearance of damaged teeth and provide strength and support to promote good oral health. They are a versatile treatment, addressing various dental issues ranging from tooth decay and chips to more severe cases of damaged teeth.

Dental crowns differ from other tooth restoration options in their ability to cover and protect the entire tooth rather than just a portion of it. This makes them a popular choice for situations where a filling, inlay, or onlay may not be sufficient to restore the tooth’s function and appearance.

There are many reasons why a dentist might recommend a dental crown. Some of these include:

  • Protecting a weak tooth from further damage or decay
  • Restoring a broken or severely worn tooth
  • Covering and supporting a tooth with a large filling when there’s not much natural tooth left
  • Holding a dental bridge in place
  • Covering a dental implant
  • Enhancing the appearance of discoloured or misshapen teeth
  • Protecting a tooth after a root canal procedure

A proper diagnosis from a dentist is essential in determining the most suitable tooth restoration option. When combined with preventative care and proper dental hygiene practices, dental crowns can address oral health concerns and maintain periodontal health.

The dental crown lifespan is heavily influenced by the type of crown, the materials used, and how well it’s maintained. Dental crown care plays a vital role in prolonging the crown’s life and preserving the health of the natural tooth beneath it. Recognising telltale signs of decay or movement early on can help address potential issues and avoid more invasive procedures down the line.

With proper care, dental crowns can last for years, offering a complete smile and a natural tooth appearance that boosts confidence and overall oral health.

Dental Crown Types and Materials

The choice of dental crown material significantly impacts the crown’s lifespan, appearance, and overall performance. Each material has benefits and drawbacks, so it’s essential to consider your specific needs and condition when selecting the most suitable option.

Here are the most common dental crown materials and their implications for durability:

Metal Crowns

Metal crowns, such as gold alloy dental crowns and other metal alloys, are known for their strength and durability.

These crowns can withstand biting and chewing forces well, making them a popular choice for posterior crowns (crowns for the back teeth) that are less visible in the mouth. Their durability requires less dental care over time, and they can potentially last over a decade with proper maintenance. However, their metallic appearance might not be the most aesthetically pleasing option for some people.

Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns

These crowns combine the strength of metal with the natural appearance of porcelain. They’re tooth-coloured, making them a more visually appealing choice compared to metal crowns.

PFM crowns tend to have a slightly shorter lifespan than their full-metal counterparts, but they can still last for many years with extra care.

All-Porcelain or Ceramic Crowns

Ceramic or porcelain crowns offer the most natural-looking option, as they closely resemble the appearance of natural teeth. These crowns are ideal for patients who need to have their front teeth restored or those who particularly have aesthetic concerns with their smile.

While ceramic crowns are less durable than metal or PFM crowns, they can still offer a ten-year lifespan or more with proper dental crown care.

Composite Resin Crowns

These crowns are made from a blend of composite materials and are known for their affordability. While they can be colour-matched to your natural teeth, they tend to have a shorter lifespan due to their susceptibility to wear and staining. Composite resin crowns may require more frequent replacement than other types of dental crowns.

Your dentist will help you choose the proper crown materials based on factors such as the location of the tooth in your mouth, your personal preferences, and any specific dental needs you may have.

By selecting the right type of dental crown and taking good care of it, you can maintain a healthy smile and a successful procedure outcome for years.

Factors Affecting Dental Crown Lifespan

While dental crown materials and types play a significant role in determining the longevity of a crown, other factors can influence how long a dental crown lasts. Understanding these factors can help you take the necessary steps to prolong the life of your crown.

Here are some key factors that can impact the dental crown lifespan:

  • Oral Hygiene Habits:
    Maintaining good oral hygiene habits is essential for prolonging the life of your dental crown. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using an antimicrobial mouthwash can help keep your teeth and gums healthy, maintaining the stability of your dental crown.
  • Tooth Location:
    The location of the tooth in your mouth can also affect the lifespan of a dental crown. Teeth at the back of your mouth are subjected to increased biting and chewing force, which can cause additional wear on crowns. Regular checkups with your dentist can help monitor the condition of your dental crowns, regardless of their location in the mouth.
  • Harmful Habits:
    Certain habits can be detrimental to the lifespan of your dental crown. Chewing on hard or sticky foods, grinding your teeth, or using your teeth to open bottle caps can all contribute to crown failure. Avoiding these habits and taking special care not to put unnecessary pressure on your dental crown can help preserve its longevity.
  • Dental Crown Care:
    Proper dental crown maintenance is essential for preventing issues like a loose crown or premature wear. Following your dentist’s instructions for dental crown care, such as avoiding foods that can cause damage to the crown or using non-abrasive toothpaste to avoid scratching the crown, can help extend the life of your dental restoration.
  • Quality of Dental Materials and Cement:
    The quality of the materials used in your dental crown and the cement that holds it in place can also impact its lifespan. Dentists use durable materials and the finest cement to secure dental crowns, but factors like tooth structure and oral hygiene can affect how well the crown remains in place over time.

Being mindful of these factors and taking proactive steps to address them can help maximise your dental crown’s lifespan and maintain oral health. Regular dental checkups and professional cleanings will also aid in identifying any potential issues early, allowing for prompt intervention and care.

The Average Lifespan of Dental Crowns

While the longevity of dental crowns can be influenced by various factors, such as dental crown types, materials, and maintenance practices, it’s helpful to have a general idea of their average lifespan. Knowing what to expect can help you make informed decisions about your dental restoration and plan for future care.

On average, dental crowns can last between 5 and 15 years, depending on the type of material used and how well they are maintained. Metal and porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns typically have a longer lifespan, often lasting up to 15 years or more with proper care. While offering a more natural appearance, ceramic or porcelain crowns may have to be replaced due to cracks. On the other hand,  composite resin crowns may require more frequent replacement due to their susceptibility to wear and staining.

It’s important to remember that these estimates are just that – estimates. The actual lifespan of your dental crown may vary based on your oral health needs, habits and maintenance. By paying close attention to dental crown maintenance and seeking regular professional dental care, you can help extend the life of your dental crown and enjoy a healthy, functional smile for many years.

How to Prolong the Durability of Your Dental Crown

Taking proper care of your dental crown is essential for prolonging its durability so it remains in good condition for as long as possible.

Here are some practical tips for maintaining your dental crown, regardless of its type:

  1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene:
    Brush your teeth twice a day using fluoride toothpaste and a soft-bristled toothbrush. Floss daily, making sure to clean around the dental crown carefully. Using an antimicrobial mouthwash can also help keep your teeth and gums healthy, maintaining the stability of your dental crown.
  2. Schedule Regular Dental Checkups:
    Visit your dentist for regular checkups and professional cleanings. These appointments allow your dentist to monitor the condition of your dental crown and detect any potential issues early on.
  3. Avoid Hard and Sticky Foods:
    Chewing on hard or sticky foods can damage your dental crown or cause it to become loose. Be mindful of the foods you eat, and avoid those that could harm your dental restoration.
  4. Wear a Mouthguard:
    If you grind your teeth or clench your jaw during sleep, wearing a custom-made mouthguard can help protect your dental crown from excessive wear and potential damage.
  5. Use a Soft-Bristled Toothbrush:
    Switch to a soft-bristled toothbrush if you haven’t already. This type of toothbrush is gentler on your dental crown and less likely to cause scratches or damage over time.
  6. Avoid Using Your Teeth as Tools:
    Don’t use your teeth to open packages, crack nuts, or remove bottle caps. These actions can put unnecessary pressure on your dental crown, potentially causing damage or shortening its lifespan.

Following these dental crown maintenance tips and working closely with your dentist can help prolong the durability of your dental crown so it remains functional and attractive for many years.

Proper Dental Hygiene for Dental Crown Care

Maintaining good oral hygiene is crucial for prolonging the lifespan of your dental crown, regardless of its type. By keeping your teeth and gums healthy, you can help support the stability of your dental crown and prevent issues that may lead to premature failure.

Here are some tips for practising good oral hygiene to preserve your dental crown:

  1. Brush Twice a Day:
    Brush your teeth for at least two minutes twice a day using fluoride toothpaste. Make sure to clean all surfaces of your teeth, including the front, back, chewing surfaces, and around the dental crown.
  2. Floss Daily:
    Floss at least once daily to remove plaque and food debris between your teeth and under the gumline. Pay special attention to the area around your dental crown, as trapped food particles and plaque can lead to gum irritation and decay.
  3. Use an Antibacterial Mouthwash:
    Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash after brushing and flossing to help further protect your teeth and gums from decay and gum disease. This can also help support the stability of your dental crown.
  4. Clean Your Tongue:
    Gently clean your tongue using a tongue scraper or your toothbrush to remove bacteria and maintain fresh breath.
  5. Replace Your Toothbrush Regularly:
    Replace your toothbrush every three to four months or sooner if the bristles become frayed. Using a worn toothbrush can make it less effective at cleaning your teeth and dental crown.

By following these oral hygiene tips and committing to a consistent dental care routine, you can help extend the lifespan of your dental crown and maintain a healthy smile.

The Role of Regular Dental Checkups

Regular dental checkups play a vital role in maintaining and extending the lifespan of your dental crown. By scheduling appointments with your dentist, you’re taking proactive steps to protect your dental restoration and overall oral health.

Here are some reasons why regular dental checkups are essential for dental crown maintenance:

  1. Monitoring Crown Condition:
    During a dental checkup, your dentist will examine the condition of your dental crown, checking for signs of wear, damage, or potential issues that may affect its longevity.
  2. Early Detection of Issues:
    Regular dental visits allow your dentist to detect and address any oral health concerns that could impact your dental crown’s lifespan, such as tooth decay, gum disease, or shifting teeth.
  3. Professional Cleanings:
    A professional dental cleaning helps remove plaque and tartar buildup that can lead to gum disease and tooth decay. Regular dental cleanings help keep the area around your crown healthy.
  4. Necessary Adjustments:
    If your dental crown requires any adjustments or repairs, regular checkups allow your dentist to identify these needs and perform the necessary procedures promptly.
  5. Oral Health Education: During dental checkups, your dentist can provide personalised advice on dental crown maintenance and care so you have the information and tools necessary to protect your dental restoration.

By prioritising regular dental checkups, you’re taking an essential step in preserving your dental crown’s lifespan and promoting optimal oral health.

Addressing Dental Crown Issues Early

Detecting and managing dental crown issues at the earliest possible stage is crucial for extending their lifespan and maintaining the overall health of your teeth and gums. Here’s why early detection and management are essential:

  1. Prevent Further Damage:
    Identifying potential problems with your dental crown early on helps prevent further damage to the crown, the underlying tooth, and surrounding teeth. This can save you from more extensive dental work in the future.
  2. Maintain Functionality:
    Addressing dental crown issues promptly makes sure that your dental restoration continues to function as intended, allowing you to chew, speak, and smile with confidence.
  3. Preserve Oral Health:
    Early detection and management of dental crown problems help protect your oral health by reducing the risk of complications such as tooth decay, gum disease, and infection.
  4. Minimise Discomfort:
    Timely intervention can help prevent or alleviate pain and discomfort associated with dental crown issues, making it easier for you to maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine.
  5. Cost-Effective:
    Taking care of dental crown issues early on can save you money in the long run by avoiding the need for more complex dental procedures or crown replacement.

For the early detection of dental crown issues, maintain a consistent oral hygiene routine, pay attention to any changes in your dental crown or surrounding area, and schedule regular dental checkups.

If you notice any signs of a problem, such as pain, sensitivity, or a loose or damaged crown, contact your dentist immediately for an evaluation and appropriate treatment.

The Impact of Lifestyle Choices on Dental Crown Lifespan

Lifestyle choices, including diet and habits, can significantly impact the lifespan of your dental crown. Understanding how these factors affect your dental restoration can help you make informed decisions to protect your investment and maintain a healthy smile.

Some lifestyle choices that can influence dental crown lifespan are:

  1. Diet:
    Consuming a balanced diet that is low in sugar and high in vitamins and minerals supports overall oral health and helps maintain the integrity of your dental crown. Sticky, hard, or crunchy foods can damage your crown, so it’s essential to be mindful of your food choices.
  2. Tobacco Use:
    Smoking or using other tobacco products can harm your dental crown, as well as your teeth and gums. Tobacco use can lead to discolouration, gum disease, and even tooth loss. Quitting tobacco can significantly improve your oral health and extend the lifespan of your dental crown.
  3. Teeth Grinding (Bruxism):
    Grinding or clenching your teeth puts excessive pressure on your dental crown and can lead to premature wear, damage, or even dislodgement. If you suffer from bruxism, speak to your dentist about treatment options, such as a custom-made night guard, to protect your dental crown and overall oral health.
  4. Chewing on Non-Food Items:
    Biting on hard objects like pens, ice, or bottle caps can damage your dental crown and put it at risk of cracking or chipping. To preserve your dental crown, avoid using your teeth as tools and stick to chewing food only.

Consider these lifestyle factors and make appropriate adjustments. This way, you can positively impact the lifespan of your dental crown and promote a healthier, more confident smile.

Final Thoughts

Understanding dental crown lifespan and the factors affecting it is essential for anyone looking to maintain a healthy, attractive smile. Proper dental crown care, regular dental checkups, and adopting healthy lifestyle choices can all contribute to prolonging the durability of your dental restoration.

At Maylands Dental Centre, our team of experienced professionals is dedicated to helping you maintain and extend the life of your dental crown. If you have any concerns or questions about dental crown maintenance, or if you’re due for a checkup, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.

Please book an appointment through our website or give us a call at Maylands Dental Centre today. Let us help you protect your investment and keep your smile looking beautiful for years.

Maylands Dental Centre
Maylands Dental Centre
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