How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

Dark-haired couple stands close together as they smile by a boat while standing on a pier as the sun sets

If you are in need of a dental crown, of if you already have a dental crown, you may be wondering how long it will last before you need a new one. Here, we’ll first explain what dental crowns are, why you would need them, how they’re placed, and finally how long dental crowns last.

What Is a Dental Crown?

Also known as a cap, a dental crown is a tooth-shaped cover that is put over an existing tooth that is damaged or decayed to improve the function, appearance, and/or strength of your smile. There are a number of different materials that are used to make crowns. The type that’s best for you depends on what kind of dental issues you have, including whether you grind your teeth or how your teeth meet. Permanent crowns, which are made in a dental lab, can be made of zirconia, ceramic, porcelain fused to metal, porcelain fused to zirconia, and metal. Metal crowns are generally more durable and therefore are sometimes used for the back teeth. Ceramic crowns are usually used for front teeth because they appear natural in texture and color.

Why Would I Need a Dental Crown?

There are a number of reasons why you might need a dental crown. One of the most common reasons is that your tooth has been severely damaged by decay and the crown is needed to support the weakened tooth. Other reasons would be to cover a tooth that is broken or worn down, to keep a dental bridge in place, to cover a dental implant, or to support a tooth with a large filling in which much of the natural tooth is gone. Dental crowns can also be used for cosmetic reasons to cover misshapen or discolored tooth.

How Is a Dental Crown Placed?

When placing a crown, we’ll file down the tooth so that the crown can fit snugly on top. Then, we’ll take an impression of the tooth so that we can make a permanent crown that will fit perfectly over your tooth. This impression will then be sent to a dental laboratory where the crown is made. In the meantime, we’ll fashion a temporary crown for you. Made of plastic, temporary crowns are just meant to stay in your mouth for a week or two, while the lab makes your permanent crown. Once it’s ready, you’ll come back in so we can remove the temporary crown and set the permanent one. After we’ve determined that the crown fits your tooth, we’ll place the crown by permanently cementing it to your tooth.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

Dental crowns can last anywhere from five to thirty years, with the average being about 15 years. How long your dental crown lasts depends on how much wear and pressure it’s been under, whether or not you do things like grind your teeth or chew ice, and how well you keep up with good oral hygiene habits like brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and using fluoride toothpaste.

Keep Up with Your Biannual Dental Visits

Coming in for regular checkups and cleanings is another way to extend the lifespan of your dental crowns. Contact us today to schedule your next appointment!

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