Today's artfully crafted dental crowns blend in seamlessly with natural teeth, so much so that patients sometimes forget they even have a crown and can be surprised by how long it has lasted. These highly durable restorations do eventually wear out, however, and it's a good idea for anyone with a crown to watch for the warning signs. Because repeat restorative or cosmetic dentistry work could traumatize an already compromised tooth, patients should be well-informed about the average lifespan of porcelain crowns and when they may need to be replaced.
The Average Lifespan of Dental Crowns
Generally, dental crowns last between five and 15 years. We've seen some crowns last even longer, up to 25 or 30 years. Because crowns should last at least five years, most insurance companies will pay if the crown needs to be replaced anytime after those first five years. Our Boston patients are often pleased to know that crowns can potentially last a lifetime - with the right care.
Why Dental Crowns Need to Be Replaced
Although dental porcelain is durable, the material is not unbreakable. The lifespan of a crown relies largely on the amount of stress it's exposed to and a person's oral hygiene habits. One of the most common reasons a crown chips or cracks is when patients grind or clench their teeth. If you grind or clench your teeth, you may see your crown fail sooner than expected.
Other bad habits - like biting your fingernails, chewing on ice, and opening plastic packaging with your teeth - can also put excessive pressure on your crown. It may be tempting to use your teeth as tools in this way, but if you want to extend the lifespan of your crown, you should avoid these bad habits. Likewise, poor hygiene habits can also put a crown at risk. A crown itself can't decay, but inadequate brushing and flossing can lead to decay that grows under the crown, possibly leading to the need for a root canal and crown replacement.
A dental crown that is crudely made or badly fit can also crack or break before the average lifespan, but these cases are rare. To give yourself the best odds, it's important to choose an experienced, skilled dentist who can deliver a great-looking and long-lasting crown.
Ways to Protect Your Crown
Although a crowned tooth doesn't require any special care, it does need to be protected from damage and decay, just like your other teeth. To keep your crown in the best shape possible, you should:
- Practice good oral hygiene habits, including brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day
- Give special attention to the area where the crown meets your gum line when brushing
- Avoid biting on hard objects, which can damage your crown as well as your natural teeth
- Wear a custom-made night guard if you clench or grind your teeth
At your regular dental check-ups, we will be sure to assess your crown for any signs of decay, damage, or bite issues.
Learn More about Porcelain Crowns
If you have a severely damaged or decayed tooth and need a dental crown, or if your existing crown is bothering you, we encourage you to schedule an appointment. Our expert dentists will evaluate your tooth or crown and develop a treatment plan to help you achieve optimal oral health.