The Lifespan of Dental Crowns and Steps You Can Take to Protect Them
Porcelain dental crowns are durable restorations that can provide full function for many years. Although these single tooth restorations are built to function for the long-term, they are not designed to last forever and will eventually need to be replaced.
Wondering what to expect of your dental crown lifespan and replacement needs? Dr. Joseph T. Mormino in Staten Island, NY explains the expected longevity of crowns and factors that can shorten their lifespan.
How Long Will My Dental Crown Last?
Dental crowns usually last about 10 years, although some will need replacement sooner, and others may function for as long as 25 years. That wide range will mostly depend on how the patient cares for the crown.
The quality of the dental crown, including its material and how it was fabricated, will also play into its longevity. Dr. Mormino has a dental laboratory onsite, allowing for exceptional dental crown craftsmanship.
What Can Shorten a Dental Crown’s Lifespan?
Although dental porcelain is a durable material that can withstand chewing, biting, and other daily wear and tear, certain habits can weaken it. Three common reasons dental crowns wear down are:
- Decay: Porcelain will not succumb to decay, but the tooth under the crown is still susceptible. While a crown completely encircles the tooth, small fissures in the crown can harbor decay-causing bacteria. Similarly, if the gum recedes above the crown, bacteria can proliferate in the receded area and infect the tooth. When a tooth already treated for a crown becomes decayed, the standard treatment is root canal therapy.
- Teeth grinding: The extra pressure put on a crown from teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, can eventually wear down the porcelain. The porcelain material can chip and crack if patients grind their teeth. Your dentist may recommend stress-reduction techniques to reduce your bruxism. Since teeth grinding usually occurs at night, your dentist may give you a night guard to wear while sleeping to protect your teeth and restorations.
- Chewing on hard objects: Much like teeth grinding, biting and chewing on hard objects can put excessive pressure on your crown. Habits you are encouraged to break include biting your fingernails, chewing ice, and opening bottles and other types of packaging with your teeth.
What Can I Do to Protect My Crown?
There are a few basic steps you can take to ensure your crown lasts as long as it should.
The first is to maintain good daily hygiene routines, including brushing and flossing, to reduce decay-causing bacteria. Also, be sure to see your dentist at least twice a year. A professional cleaning is the only way to remove plaque build-up, a precursor to decay.
During your visit, your dentist will also examine your gums for recession and the crown for any weaknesses that put the underlying tooth at risk. If you are concerned about your crown or underlying tooth, or you experience sensitivity or discomfort, contact your dentist right away.
Second, if you are given a mouth guard, be sure to wear it consistently each night. Your dentist will be on the lookout for signs of bruxism, but also let him know if you have this condition, or believe you might.
Finally, refrain from biting or chewing hard objects. Chewing on ice, fingernails, pens, and non-food items is not good for your crowns or your teeth. Talk to Dr. Mormino if you find it difficult to break this habit; he can provide you with some helpful tips.
Book Your Dental Crown Appointment
If you need a crown, or an existing crown is giving you problems, schedule your appointment today. Speak directly to a team member by calling (718) 876-9100, or you can use our online messaging system to reach us.