Dental crowns are aptly named as they are a special type of cap that is placed at the very top or crown of a damaged tooth. You might also think of them as special camouflaged helmets as they cover and protect your tooth and help to restore the overall shape of the tooth. A dental crown might be made out of metal, ceramic, resin, or porcelain. Each has its benefits, but the benefit and question we want to look at in this article is just how long do dental crowns last?
How Long Do They Last?
The short answer is that a dental crown, on average, will last anywhere between 5 and 20 years. But that’s a pretty big gap! This wide range is because there are a number of factors that go into how long do crowns last. Let’s look at a few of those factors:
What Factors Can Change How Long Dental Crowns Last?
Personal oral habits
Personal habits are the primary thing that can change or alter the longevity of a dental crown. Crowns are designed to withstand normal and expected wear and tear. They are not designed to withstand every type of wear and tear. Activities that can increase wear and tear beyond what crows can normally handle include teeth-grinding, teeth-clenching, ice-crewing, nail-biting, gum chewing, and using teeth as tools (such as biting opening packages or to cut a thread). Doing one or more of these activities on the rare occasion won’t cut down on the life of a dental crown. However, when a person has these as daily habits, they lead to increased wear and tear on a dental crown beyond the scope of what they were designed to handle.
Oral hygiene habits
How you take care of your teeth also plays a major role in a dental crown’s lifespan. Brushing your teeth, using mouthwash, and flossing are all critical daily oral hygiene habits that will extend the lifespan of your dental crown, as well as the natural lifespan of your teeth and gums. Good oral hygiene prevents the bacteria that causes gingivitis from lingering, thereby keeping your teeth healthy and clean and your dental crowns intact.
Finally, what material a person’s dental crowns are made out of can make a big difference in their longevity.
The Different Materials Used for Dental Crowns
Here at Herbert Family Dentistry, we use dental crowns made out of ceramic materials. The following is a look at the qualities of ceramic dental crowns and the crowns made out of other materials:
Ceramic or all-porcelain
Ceramic or porcelain are popular because of their soft white shade that makes them look just like natural teeth. These dental crowns blend naturally into your mouth and are the prime choice for those allergic to metals. They don’t have quite the lifespan of all types of dental crowns. These last on average 10 to 15 years when good oral and hygiene habits are followed. People love ceramic or all-porcelain crowns because they look natural and they withstand a lot of wear and tear. Plus, they can be repaired when that wear and tear goes a bit beyond what they can handle.
Metal dental crowns can be made from metal alloys high in gold, platinum, or nickel. These types of crows can withstand a lot and, as such, are a good choice for those who struggle with good oral and hygiene habits. With good care, metal dental crowns can last over 25 years! However, the big drawback of this type of crown is its appearance. The shiny metals won’t blend into your natural teeth.
Porcelain-fused to metal
This is a nice middle-of-the-road option in which the metal part of the dental crown is placed at the base of the tooth and outfitted with a slim porcelain top. This offers a nice compromise that retains the strength of metal with the natural exterior appearance of porcelain. With good care and good hygiene habits, these types of crowns can last up to 20 years.
Visit Herbert Family Dentistry to Learn More
In the end, your dentist is the one to best recommend the right dental crowns for you.