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29 January 2015

How long do dental crowns last?

Remember that a crown is also like a natural tooth. Naturally, its effectivity and lifespan depends on one’s dental and oral hygiene habits. Like natural teeth, dental crowns are susceptible to chewing and biting forces, wear and tear, tooth grinding, and accidental trauma. Dental crowns definitely don’t last forever, but they can last for many years, as long as they’re properly cared for. Usually, crowns last anywhere between 5-15 years, some even up to 25-30 years. Your dentist will be able to tell you how long you can expect your crown to last. According to research, more than 90% of crowns last for five years without requiring any major treatment, while 50-80% of crowns will last between 15-20 years of use.

Here are the most common reasons dental crowns require repair or replacement:

Wear and tear – Putting extra pressure on your crown may cause it to chip or break; so do habits like biting on your fingernails, chewing on ice and hard candy, or opening plastic packaging using your teeth.

Decay – A dental crown itself is not susceptible to decay, but the natural tooth underneath it is. When your gum recedes around the crown, decay can set in starting at the point where the edge of the crown joins the tooth. It then reaches the inside of your crown and damages the natural tooth inside. This is the worst enemy of older crowns. If this is the case and the infection is severe, you may require a root canal procedure.

Bite problems – Sometimes, a crown fails due to bite issues, which occurs especially in patients who clench or grind their teeth or have jaw-joint problems (TMJ). In this case, since your jaw exerts extreme pressure, it can eventually break even the most expertly made dental crowns. The same goes for cases where the dental crown has not been fitted properly to your bite, or if you have bite imbalance. For problems like these, your dentist may recommend a custom-made night guard to help protect your dental crown as well as your other natural teeth.

To make your crown last, it’s important to maintain proper dental and oral hygiene—just like what you do with your natural teeth. Brush your teeth twice a day with fluoride toothpaste also cleaning along the gum line, clean the areas in between your teeth with dental floss, and visit your dentist to have your teeth checked and cleaned professionally at least once every six months. Also, make it a habit to avoid biting on hard objects like candy and ice. If you notice any changes connected to your dental crown, do not hesitate to have your dentist check it out as soon as possible.

A dental crown manufactured in good quality should not have any problems before five years of use. Even if your crown has reached its 15th or 20th anniversary but upon check-up it’s still in good condition, you might not need to have it replaced. That’s good news. All you need to do is maintain your regular dental check-ups and rest assured, your dentist will keep an eye on your old crown for signs of ruin.

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