Dental crowns refer to tooth-shaped “caps” placed over teeth to restore their shape, size, and strength, and enhance their appearance. When cemented in place, crowns fully encase the whole portion of a tooth that is above the gum line. But how long can a dental crown last?
Generally, dental crowns can last between five and fifteen years, though some can get damaged within two months, while others can last 40 years or even a lifetime.
This is a huge range because there are many factors involved, many of which depend on the dental hygiene and habits of the patient getting the crown, let alone the position and type of material used on the crown. But it is interesting to note that most insurance companies accept to pay for crown replacements after 5-8 years, which implies that a well-made crown should not need replacement for a minimum of five years.
That said, different types of crown materials offer varying degrees of durability.
The caps are made of cast gold, and have been in use for more than a century. Gold crowns are the most successful, and should last for decades. In some cases, they can last for more than 50 years. Gold crowns are unmatched in terms of minimal wear to opposing teeth and long-term service. However, they may ultimately fail due to wear of the metal through to the underlying tooth structure, and also because of recurrent caries or decay.
All Porcelain Crowns
All porcelain crowns are preferred by patients because of their aesthetics, allowing amazing real-life appearance. While they blend in well with natural teeth, they are characterized by brittleness, lack of strength, and their potential damage to opposing teeth against which they bite.
Basically, all dental porcelains are ceramics – glass variations fired in an oven at extremely high temperatures so the components can fuse together. Like glass, any damage to porcelain crowns is catastrophic and impossible to repair, which makes it hard to predict their longevity. That said, porcelain crowns are expected to last between 10 – 15 years, though it is not unusual for them to last up to 30 or more years.
Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM) Crowns
They are fairly esthetic restorations that combine the properties of metal crowns (gold or platinum) and porcelain. PFM crowns are strong, fit precisely, and are bonded to the tooth, eliminating the brittleness of porcelain. They have a functional longevity of 20 years, or so, though they tend to seriously abrade opposing teeth, resulting in undue wear.
Why May Dental Crowns Need Replacement?
It is unusual for a crown to fail alone, since gold, PFM, and all porcelain do not decay. However, it is not unusual for the patient to cause the crown to fail due to poor hygiene. In fact, the most common cause of crown failure is decay under poorly maintained crowns. Bad habits, like removing bottle caps and biting finger nails can also compromise the integrity of crowns.
If the dental crown was fabricated to the highest standards, correctly fitted to your bite, and properly cared for, it should last for decades or even your lifetime.
De Soto Dental Practice provides dental crowns in Canoga Park made from different materials to suit everyone’s needs & budgets. If you are interested in obtaining a new crown or want to replace an old one, then call our office @ 818.888.2211.