While they are durable, all crowns will eventually need to be replaced. So, how long does a crown last? The lifetime of a dental crown depends on several factors, including the material used and how well you care for your smile.
How Long Does a Crown Last On Average?
The average lifespan of a dental crown is approximately 10 years. However, if you care for it properly, a well-fabricated dental crown can last for decades as long as there are no other underlying oral health issues. Oral health problems affecting crown longevity include active gum disease and imbalanced mouth microbiota, which increases the risk of cavities.
Factors That Affect How Long a Crown Lasts
Although you can expect dental crowns to last for a decade on average, some factors can affect how long a crown lasts, including:
While crowns are usually made from tough materials, they are not indestructible, and how long a crown lasts often depends on the tooth’s location. Different areas on the dental arch experience varying levels of force when biting and chewing.
The posterior (rear) teeth used for grinding experience the most force. This means crowns placed on molars typically wear down faster than those positioned at the front. Posterior crowns are also more prone to cracks and loosened cement than anterior restorations.
However, front teeth are more visible when smiling or talking, making those dental crowns more susceptible to damage from impact due to vehicular or sporting accidents.
The lifespan of a dental crown can also depend on the material it is made out of, which can be some of the following:
Gold alloy dental crowns are the longest lasting, with approximately 90% of restorations surviving more than 40 years. Gold alloys are made from a mix of gold, copper, and zinc. This combination makes the restorations strong but also costlier than other materials.
Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns are also extremely durable; the average lifespan of PFM alloy crowns is 47.53 years long. PFM crowns are aesthetically pleasing, as they can be matched to the colour of your natural teeth. However, one potential downside of PFM crowns is that the framework underneath the porcelain can sometimes show through over time, causing a greyish tint.
Porcelain dental crowns are less durable, lasting 10 years on average. Although porcelain crowns are more expensive than other options, they are a popular choice because they are stain-resistant and, due to their lustre, which makes them look similar to natural teeth.
Composite resin crowns are less expensive than other types and look very natural. But they can be vulnerable to fractures and wear and tear, lasting up to 10 years with a proper at-home oral hygiene routine and regular checkups.
Poor oral hygiene can reduce the lifespan of a dental crown. Plaque and tartar build-up can cause the underlying tooth to decay, and this can eventually result in replacing the crown. Brushing too hard or using a hard-bristled toothbrush can also damage the restoration, making it more susceptible to wear and tear.
To help prolong the life of your dental crown, it is essential to practice good oral hygiene habits. This includes:
- Brushing twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoridated toothpaste
- Flossing daily or using a WaterPik
- Using mouthwash to remove plaque and bacteria
Lifestyle and Habits
Some lifestyle factors can shorten the longevity of a dental crown, including smoking, grinding your teeth, and biting your nails. To help ensure that your crown lasts as long as possible, it is crucial to avoid these habits.
Contact sports can also put dental crowns at risk of being knocked loose or broken. Talk with your dentist about getting fitted for a custom mouth guard to wear while you play sports or at night to protect against teeth grinding.
How to Know When Your Dental Crown Needs to Be Replaced?
Several signs indicate when a dental crown needs to be replaced, including:
If the gum line starts to pull away from the tooth, it indicates that you may have active gum disease, dry mouth, or you are overbrushing. Receding gums increases your risk of tooth decay and infection because the tooth’s roots are exposed.
Receding gums can also make bonding cement more prone to wear and expose the framework in metal-ceramic crowns, disrupting the aesthetic of your smile.
Pain and Swelling
Pain or swelling around the tooth is another sign that you need to replace the dental crown. If it is loose, it can irritate the gums and cause inflammation. If there is any decay under the crown, that can also lead to pain or swelling.
Discolouration of the Tooth
Dental crowns, regardless of the material used for fabrication, can build up plaque and tartar. On tooth-coloured restorations, this makes them appear yellow or grey.
Pigmented foods can also stain some materials, such as composite. This can cause your smile to appear patchy.
Dental crowns cannot be professionally whitened with bleaching agents. The only way to get a whiter smile is to replace your dental crown.
Visit Sydney Dental Group for High-Quality Dental Crowns
At Sydney Dental Group, we offer long-lasting dental crowns. Made from high-quality materials, our crowns can restore the function and appearance of your teeth.
Whether you need a single crown or multiple restorations, an experienced dentist can help. Contact us on (02) 9158 6135 today to schedule a consultation and learn how we can help you achieve the perfect smile.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.
Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal Crowns versus All-ceramic Crowns: A Review of the Clinical and Cost-Effectiveness
Preformed metal crowns for primary and permanent molar teeth
The longevity of restorations – a literature review