Dental crowns encircle a damaged or weakened tooth, providing it with strength and preventing further damage. With a dental crown, your previously weakened tooth can be restored to full form and function. Your crown will need maintenance because it won’t last forever. Let’s take a more in-depth look at ‘how long do crowns last’.
What Are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns are very large fillings that cover a damaged tooth. They use the damaged tooth as a foundation and a support structure. A dental crown will be used in a scenario where the damage or decay is too significant to be handled by a filling, or as the final stage in a restoration such as a dental bridge, dental implant or root canal.
Dental crowns can be used
- In the final stage of dental implant procedures
- In a dental bridge
- To strengthen and reinforce a damaged or decayed tooth
- To restore a tooth after a root canal treatment
What Materials Are Used For Dental Crowns?
Some of the most popular materials for dental crowns include zirconia, metal, porcelain, porcelain fused to metal and composite resin.
How Long Do Crowns Last?
On average you can expect a dental crown to last for between five and 15 years, depending on different factors. To explain this further, 90% of dental crowns are still intact after five years before they need repair or replacement. 50 to 80% of crowns, however, will last for 15 to 20 years with good dental care.
Some of the factors that affect how long a dental crown lasts:
- The type of material that was used
- Where the crown is positioned in your mouth
- The skill and experience level of your dentist
- How well you look after your teeth
Zirconia is a favoured material for a dental crown because it is strong and resilient. It is also a natural-looking material, especially in the way that it reflects light very similarly to dental enamel, making it suitable for front teeth. Zirconia crowns may last for up to 15 years.
Metal and porcelain fused to metal dental crowns are robust and long-lasting. They don’t cause wear and tear on the adjacent teeth and they do not chip or crack often. Because the colour of metal is not desirable for most patients, metal crowns are best suited for use on the molars and in the back of the mouth. Metal crowns can last for 10-15 years.
Porcelain fused to metal is more popular because of the natural colour of porcelain, however, it is possible for porcelain to chip. Porcelain is a popular choice for crowns on the front teeth as it is stain-resistant and long-lasting. Porcelain crowns may last for 15 years.
Composite Resin Crowns
Composite resin is growing in popularity because of its affordability and the short time it takes to make a dental crown. Composite resin is softer and more prone to fractures, wear and tear and may only last for five years.
How Long Do Crowns Last?
Integral to making your dental crown last longer is managing dental decay. While the dental crown can’t decay, the supporting tooth can. Visiting your dentist every six months is an important step in managing dental decay as it gives your dentist the opportunity to spot decay early on before it becomes a bigger problem.
Dental crowns also become less effective as they get older. Over time and with the forces of wear and tear they can loosen, fracture and chip. This means that the underlying tooth is no longer protected and can start to decay further. When you attend your dental check-ups your dentist will also check the condition of your crowns and restorations, and do the necessary repairs before they become bigger issues.
Because a crown doesn’t last forever, it makes sense to invest in the highest quality and longest lasting material that you can afford. Investing in a crown that may last for 15 years is a more appropriate long term solution than returning for three procedures that only last for 4 or 5 years over the same period.
What To Expect After The Dental Crown Procedure?
Performing a crown does not take long, and it is performed under local anaesthetic. Once the anaesthetic wears off you are likely to experience some sensitivity and discomfort.
The lifespan of your crown is something that should be discussed with your dentist prior to having any treatment.
For a more personalised answer to the question of ‘how long do crowns last’, please contact us for an appointment: (03) 8737 9359.