Secrets to Prolonging the Average Lifespan of Dental Crowns: Cracking the Code

Secrets to Prolonging the Average Lifespan of Dental Crowns: Cracking the Code By Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho | September 22, 2023

Dental crowns play a crucial role in maintaining the strength and integrity of our teeth. However, like any other dental restoration, they require proper care and attention so that they last as long as possible.

In this post, we’ll be sharing some tips that can help you prolong the lifespan of your dental crowns. We’ll explore the common factors influencing their longevity and provide practical advice to incorporate into your daily oral hygiene routine.

So, buckle up and prepare to gain knowledge that could revolutionise your dental crown care approach. Remember, the aim here is not to provide a quick fix but to equip you with the knowledge to make informed decisions about your oral health.

Summary of the Content:

  • Dental crowns can last between 5 to 15 years, but this can be extended significantly with proper care.

  • The material used for the crown, such as metal, porcelain, or composite resin, influences its durability.

  • Regular oral hygiene practices, including brushing, flossing, and rinsing, are crucial for maintaining dental crowns.

  • Avoiding hard, sticky, and sugary foods can prevent damage to crowns, potential decay and gum disease.

  • Harmful habits like teeth grinding and using teeth as tools can damage crowns. Using a night guard can help protect your teeth and crowns.

  • Regular dental check-ups allow for the early detection of issues, contributing to the long-term success of dental crowns.

  • Lifestyle factors, including diet and oral hygiene habits, significantly impact the lifespan of dental crowns.

  • Common issues with dental crowns include loosening, decay, wear and tear, gum disease, improper fit, and sensitivity. These can be prevented with proper care and regular visits to the dentist for check-ups.

The Average Lifespan of Dental Crowns

When we talk about dental crowns, one of the first questions that pop up is, “How long do they usually last?” The lifespan of dental crowns varies due to various factors that influence it.

Generally, dental crowns can last anywhere between 5 to 15 years. However, with meticulous dental crown maintenance and proper use, some have been known to last for more than 15 years. It’s important to note that this is not a one-size-fits-all scenario. The lifespan of a dental crown can vary significantly from person to person due to several reasons.

Here are some factors that can influence the durability of dental crowns:

  1. Type of crown:
    The material used for the crown plays a significant role in its durability. Metal crowns, porcelain crowns, composite resin crowns, and temporary crowns have different lifespans. Metal crowns, for instance, are known for their durability and longevity, while composite resin crowns may require more frequent replacements.

  2. Oral hygiene practices:
    The longevity of a dental crown is significantly influenced by the patient’s oral hygiene habits. Twice-a-day brushing, daily flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash can go a long way in prolonging the dental crown lifespan.

  3. Dietary habits:
    Certain foods can affect the lifespan of a dental crown. Sticky foods, hard foods, and sugary foods can potentially lead to crown failure if consumed frequently.

  4. Regular check-ups:
    Regular maintenance appointments with professional dentists are crucial. These allow your dentist to spot any potential oral health conditions early and provide appropriate care to prolong the lifespan of the dental crown.

  5. Individual health habits:
    Habits such as teeth grinding can impact the lifespan of a dental crown. Excessive grinding force can cause chipping or damage to the crown. Use a mouth guard at night to protect your crowns and to prevent them from damage.

  6. Overall oral health:
    The overall health of teeth and gums can influence the lifespan of a dental crown. Any underlying oral health concerns, such as tooth decay or gum disease, should be addressed promptly to promote the longevity of the crown.

The Role of Material in the Lifespan of Dental Crowns

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When it comes to the average lifespan of dental crowns, the material used is a significant factor. Different materials offer varying degrees of durability, aesthetics, and compatibility with natural teeth. Understanding these differences can help you make informed decisions about your dental care and play a proactive role in prolonging the dental crown lifespan.

Here’s a look at some common dental crown materials and how they impact the crown’s lifespan:

  1. Porcelain-Fused-to-Metal (PFM)crowns:
    These crowns are made of a metal core covered by a layer of porcelain, offering a balance between durability and aesthetics. The metal provides strength, while the porcelain overlay matches the colour of natural teeth. With proper care, these crowns can last between 10-15 years. However, they may require extra care as the porcelain can chip under heavy pressure.

  2. Metal crowns:
    Made from gold, nickel, chromium, or palladium, metal crowns are known for their durability. They withstand biting and chewing forces well and rarely chip or break. With regular cleanings and dental visits, these durable crowns can last upwards of 20 years.

  3. All-ceramic or all-porcelain crowns:
    Because of the translucent appearance of porcelain, these crowns provide the most natural-looking restorations. They are also an excellent choice for people with metal allergies. However, they may require special care to prevent damage to crowns. Their lifespan typically ranges from 10 to 15 years.

  4. Composite resin crowns:
    These are a cost-effective option but are more prone to chip and wear over time. With proper dental care, they can last between 5 to 7 years.

  5. Temporary crowns:
    Made from acrylic or stainless steel, these crowns are used temporarily while the final crown is being made. They are not designed for long-term use and usually last a few weeks to a few months.

Dental Crown Maintenance: Key to Longevity

Maintaining the longevity of your dental crowns requires a commitment to consistent care and attention. Adopting a few key practices can significantly extend the lifespan of dental crowns.

Let’s explore some practical tips for dental crown maintenance that can help you keep your crowns in top shape for years.

  1. Maintain good oral hygiene:
    This is the cornerstone of dental crown maintenance. Regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash can help keep your crown healthy. Remember, good dental hygiene habits increase longevity not just of your natural teeth but also of your crowns.

  2. Regular dental cleanings:
    Professional cleanings at your dentist’s office are essential. They can remove plaque and tartar build-up that regular brushing and flossing might miss, preventing tooth decay and gum disease.

  3. Watch your diet:
    Avoid hard, sticky foods that can damage your crown. Also, be mindful of food particles that can get stuck between your teeth and lead to tooth decay.

  4. Avoid harmful habits:
    Habits like teeth grinding, nail-biting, or using your teeth to open packages can damage your dental crowns. If you have bite issues or grinding habits at night, talk to your dentist about a night guard to protect your crowns.

  5. Regular dental check-ups:
    Regular visits to your dentist allow for early detection of any potential dental issues. Your dentist can check the crown and the underlying tooth for any signs of decay or damage and address problems promptly.

  6. Pay attention to your crown:
    If you notice any changes in your bite or if your crown feels loose, schedule a dental appointment immediately. Early detection of problems can prevent the need for a root canal treatment or a replacement crown.

Remember, even the most durable crowns, like gold crowns, have a limited lifespan. They require regular dental care and a commitment to good oral hygiene to maximise their longevity.

The Impact of Lifestyle on Dental Crown Lifespan

Your lifestyle choices can significantly impact the average lifespan of dental crowns. From your diet to your oral hygiene habits, every decision plays a role in the long-term success of your dental crowns.

Let’s delve into how these lifestyle factors can influence the durability of your crowns.

  1. Diet:
    What you eat can affect the longevity of your dental crowns. Frequent consumption of hard or sticky foods can put excessive pressure on your crowns, leading to damage over time. Sugary foods and drinks can also contribute to plaque accumulation, which can lead to decay under the crown or active gum disease.

  2. Harmful habits:
    Habits like teeth grinding, nail-biting, or using your teeth as tools can cause damage to your crowns, regardless of the crown material. If you have these habits, discuss them with an experienced dentist to find remedies that can protect your crowns.

  3. Smoking and alcohol:
    Both smoking and excessive alcohol consumption can lead to oral health issues that can affect the lifespan of your dental crowns. Smoking can cause gum disease and tooth loss, while alcohol can erode the dental crown procedure’s dental cement.

Common Issues with Dental Crowns and How to Avoid Them

While dental crowns are a popular and reliable approach for various dental issues, they are not without risk of problems. These issues, if not addressed promptly, can shorten the average lifespan of dental crowns.

This article will discuss common issues related to dental crowns and provide tips for preventing them, ensuring long-term success.

  1. Loose crown:
    Over time, the dental cement that holds the crown in place can wear off, causing the crown to become loose. If you notice any movement in your crown, schedule a dental appointment immediately. Regular check-ups can also help detect a loose crown early.

  2. Tooth decay:
    Even with a crown, the underlying tooth is still susceptible to decay, especially at the gum line. Maintaining good oral hygiene habits and regular dental hygiene routines can help prevent decay and prolong the lifespan of your dental crowns.

  3. Wear and tear:
    Just like natural teeth, crowns can wear down over time, especially if you grind your teeth or have an imbalanced bite. Using a custom-made night guard can help reduce wear and tear.

  4. Gum disease:
    If gum disease develops around a crown, it can lead to infection and Gum recession. This may necessitate gum disease treatment and replacement of the crown. Professional cleanings and routine check-ups can help you catch signs of infection early and maintain your overall dental health.

  5. Improper fit:
    If a crown doesn’t fit properly, it can lead to discomfort and potential issues. Working with a dentist who takes the time to make certain that your crown fits well is crucial.

  6. Sensitivity and discomfort:
    Some people may experience temporary sensitivity or discomfort after getting a crown. Using toothpaste designed for sensitive teeth can help alleviate this. However, if the discomfort persists, bring it to your dentist’s attention immediately.

All types of crowns, regardless of their pricing, require care and attention. Your commitment to dental crown maintenance can significantly impact your oral health outcomes and contribute to a healthy and confident smile.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the secrets to prolonging the lifespan of dental crowns lie in understanding the factors that influence their durability and taking proactive steps to maintain them. From the type of material used to make the crown to your oral hygiene habits, diet, and lifestyle choices, every aspect plays a role in the longevity of your dental crowns.

Remember, dental crowns are not a set-and-forget approach. They require ongoing care, regular check-ups, and a commitment to good oral health practices. By taking these steps, you can be confident that your dental crowns serve you well for many years, contributing to a healthy, beautiful smile.

At Darch Dental Centre, we’re committed to helping you understand and navigate your dental health journey. Our team of experienced professionals is here to provide you with the information, care, and support you need to maintain your dental crowns and overall oral health.

If you have any inquiries or issues regarding your dental crowns or if it is time for your routine check-up, please feel free to reach out to us. You may call us at our clinic or book your appointment online.

Your oral health is our priority, and we’re here to help you every step of the way.

Dr. Jon ( Junyi ) Ho

Dr. Jon is a Perth-based dentist who graduated with a Bachelor of Dental Science in 2005 from the University of Western Australia. He has worked at a range of dental practices, including being a partner and principal dentist for a group of five dental surgeries in Sydney. Dr. Jon has been practising for over a decade in the northern suburbs of Perth. He provides treatment for patients in Darch, Madeley, Landsdale, Kingsway, Kingsley, Marangaroo, Alexander Heights, Wangara, Ellenbrook, and others.

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