How long do Dental Crowns last?

Alongside our Cosmetic Dentistry, Orthodontics, and Dental Implant services we also offer a full range of General Dentistry treatments including regular check-ups, fillings, and Dental Crowns. If you are considering having a crown fitted, repaired, or replaced it is likely that you’ll have lots of questions about the treatment process and caring for your teeth afterwards. One of the most frequent questions we get asked is how long do dental crowns last?

Below we’ve set out some key information that you need to know but, as always, our team are on hand to answer any queries you have by email or over the phone so please do get in touch.

Dental Crowns sit over teeth like small caps and are used for a wide variety of reasons. Much like fillings, they are one of the options we use to repair and protect damaged or decaying teeth from further harm. However, where fillings are used to fix small areas of tooth decay, crowns are needed when the affected tooth is heavily damaged or decayed and requires additional stability and protection. For example, it is likely that after any root canal treatment a crown will be used to secure the remaining tooth.

Dental crowns can also be used to fix cosmetic dentistry issues by covering crooked teeth helping to give you a whiter, brighter smile. Broken, chipped or visibly damaged teeth can also be improved with the use of dental crowns, and our expert team can talk through all the options available to you in your initial consultation session.

Contrary to popular belief, crowns are not a modern dental treatment, they have been used in one form or another to cover and repair teeth for thousands of years. In fact, skeletons from many ancient and more contemporary civilisations across the globe have been discovered to have had gold caps and gold teeth. As well as being used to fix teeth it is understood that the use of gold crowns was a status symbol and a sign of wealth in many cultures.

Here at Revitalise, we make ceramic crowns for many of our clients because they provide a more natural-looking aesthetic, and rarely use gold these days.

How to look after your Dental Crowns

Crowns are used as a treatment to protect damaged teeth or improve your smile, and we often get asked if they are permanent. There are many aspects to consider including what they are made from, how they are fitted and a great deal depends on how well you look after them. At Revitalise we want you to have long-lasting confidence in your smile, which is why our experienced team takes special care to design, create and fit dental crowns so that we can help you to maximise their lifespan.

On average dental crowns can often last for up to 15 years or more with the right aftercare. You don’t actually need any specialist treatments to look after your crown, unless it becomes damaged, and you can usually treat it just as you would a natural tooth.

Regular teeth brushing twice a day and daily flossing will help to maintain the condition of the crown as well as benefiting your overall oral health. Even though a fitted crown acts as a protective barrier, the tooth underneath can still sustain damage or start to suffer from additional decay. When you brush and floss your teeth you need to make sure that you pay special attention to the gum line. This will help to prevent plaque from building up and will ensure that your teeth, gums and crowns stay healthy.

You should continue to attend regular dental check-up appointments with your general dentist and hygienist. During these sessions, one of the things your dentist will check is that your crown is still secure and the edge of the crown has a good seal and not causing you any issues or discomfort. They will be able to advise you on how best to look after your teeth and how to keep your crown clean.

Even though crowns can last up to 15 years, this does not mean that they are indestructible within that time frame. Like your regular teeth, dental crowns are susceptible to chipping, cracking or increased wear and tear if they are not looked after properly.

One thing that can cause damage to crowns is excessive teeth clenching or grinding your teeth. People sometimes grind their teeth while they are asleep or sometimes when they are stressed and your dentist will be able to identify whether this is an issue for you. They may suggest that you use a thin mouthguard at night to protect your teeth and your crowns. Like your crown, your mouthguard will be created and fitted by our team and moulded especially to fit you.

It’s also very important that you avoid using your teeth as a tool, for example by biting into plastic packaging or to open stubborn bottle lids or caps. Not only can this drastically damage your natural teeth and gums, but it could also cause your dental crown to crack or dislodge which could result in serious discomfort.

When to replace your Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are a long term solution it’s important that you attend regular dental check ups so your dentist can check the signs and symptoms that indicate when your crown is coming to the end of it’s natural lifespan. As we’ve outlined above, how long a dental crown lasts depends on how well you look after it. If you maintain good oral hygiene with regular brushing, flossing and dental check ups then your crown should last up to 15 years. If you have chipped, cracked, damaged or dislodged your crown, then it will need to be repaired or replaced .This is to ensure that the tooth underneath continues to be protected and does not sustain any further damage or decay.

Facial injuries, chewing something hard, very sticky or chewy or clenching and grinding your teeth can all be causes of crown damage. If you have noticed that your crown has become chipped or cracked then you should make an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible to get it fixed. If the crack or chip is not severe, then it may be possible to repair the crown without the need to have it completely replaced. Before restoring, repairing or replacing your crown, your dentist will examine the tooth underneath to make sure that it has not sustained any damage. If the tooth is damaged as well then the crown will need to be removed, the tooth damage treated and the crown remade and replaced to ensure a correct and secure fit.

While crowns cannot decay because they are made of ceramic, the tooth underneath can. If your dental crown was created and fitted to protect a damaged or decayed tooth, then you need to make sure that you follow all your dentist’s advice to keep the crown, tooth and gum line clean and healthy. A build-up of plaque could cause the tooth underneath to start, or continue, to decay. If you notice any tenderness or swelling from your crown or the tooth it is covering, please arrange to see your dentist as soon as possible to avoid the problem becoming more severe.

At Revitalise, we conduct thorough examinations before any repairs or replacements take place so that we can make sure that you have no underlying oral health problems or indications of future issues. Part of your examination will include an x-ray of your mouth and from this your dentist will be able to see if the tooth underneath your crown is starting to decay or needs any additional care. If this is the case, then you may need to have the crown removed so that the tooth underneath can be treated. Treatments, such as a root canal, may be required before your crown can be replaced. This is to make sure that the tooth underneath is as healthy and as stable as possible, which in turn will lengthen the lifespan of your crown.

Here at Revitalise, all of our dental crowns are created as bespoke solutions for our customers and made in our onsite laboratory. By being in control of the entire process we can ensure that your crown is made perfectly for you, moulded to your gum line and tooth and offers a secure and comfortable fit. Any adjustments required can be handled rapidly and efficiently by the onsite lab team resulting in quicker treatments times and better results.

One question we are often asked is about colour matching crowns to a client’s natural teeth. Our lab team will always colour match any new crown or denture to correspond perfectly with your existing teeth so that you are left with a natural looking smile. It’s worth noting that while we can colour match the crown before it is placed into your mouth, the colour cannot be changed afterwards. This means that if you wish to whiten your teeth you should go through this treatment process first with your dentist, before you have a crown fitted, so that the crown will match your desired tooth colour.

We hope that this has helped to answer some of your initial queries about having a crown fitted, repaired or replaced. We know that it’s important to understand the process behind treatments to alleviate concerns and worries and we would invite you to contact the team if you have any further questions. Our staff are experienced, professional and very knowledgeable and are here to help you find the best solutions to suit you, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch.

Find out more

As you can see, Dental Crowns are an excellent treatment option to strengthen and protect any damaged teeth and give you back your smile confidence. There really is no straight forward answer to the question of how long dental crowns last because it varies so greatly from person to person. But by following the guidance of your dental team and practising great oral care at home you can make sure your crown and your natural teeth stay healthy and secure.

If you would like to discuss our Dental Crown treatments please get in touch today to book a consultation and find out how our expert team can help you reclaim your smile.

About the author

Author

Jason Smithson is an internationally renowned cosmetic and reconstructive dentist formerly of London’s Harley Street Medical District, he is now based in St Agnes, Cornwall where he offers dentistry, dental-education and medico-legal expert witness services. World-class crowns, veneers and direct composite resin artistry are delivered with uncompromising standards bespoke to the patient’s individual requirements. He is considered to be the ‘Dentist’s Dentist’ and regularly treats other dentists; many of whom travel from throughout the UK to see him. Dr Smithson is an ‘In Demand’ presenter and is perhaps the most prolific in the UK. He is considered by his peers to be an authority on aesthetic dentistry and has presented to audiences on every continent over the past 10 years. He is a true innovator and pioneered the use of Dental Operating Microscope in teaching Direct Resin Artistry to other dentists in the UK; he is the author of numerous articles and a book on crowns in aesthetic dentistry.

Connect with Jason Smithson on LinkedIn.

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