A dental crown can be excellent way of restoring a permanently damaged tooth. This can include a tooth fracture, severe and permanent pigmentation or large cavities. Some time ago, the only crown options available were gold or metal alloy crowns that although were known to last a lifetime, were not cosmetically pleasing. As dental professionals started using porcelain in their crowns, they found that although better looking, they tended to break in little time. Today, we have developed types of porcelain crowns that offer both resistance and esthetics. The lifespan of a dental crown can vary depending on several factors, including the type of material used, the location of the crown in the mouth, oral hygiene practices, and individual habits. On average, dental crowns can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years or more.
- Material: Different materials have different durability. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are a common choice. However, we have found that these tend to fracture at the union of the porcelain to the metal. Also, since the metal is not translucent, it does not look as natural as regular teeth and the crown may need replacement for esthetic purposes, especially if it is one of the front teeth. Zirconia has proven to be the perfect blend of esthetics and durability. Ceramic is also a good option for front teeth crowns.
- Oral hygiene: Proper oral care, including regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups, can also significantly impact the longevity of a dental crown. For example, poor oral hygiene can lead to decay at the margin of the crown. In order to treat this decay, the dentist will have to remove it and make a new one. In addition, it is important to avoid using abrasive products when you have a crown, as these can ruin or scrape the porcelain.
- Location in the mouth: Crowns in the back of the mouth (molars and premolars) often experience more stress and wear due to chewing forces. There is also direct impact on the longevity of the crowns if there are other teeth missing. Remember each tooth has a unique function in the mouth and they work together as a ¨team¨. If one is missing, the adjacent teeth must absorb the pressure. If this pressure is excessive, it will cause irreparable damage both to the crown and to the teeth like broken off crowns, teeth fractures and bone loss.
- Individual habits: Habits such as teeth grinding (bruxism) can place excessive forces on the crown and may lead to rapid wear or damage. If you grind at night or day, it is important to wear a guard.
- Quality of dental work: The skill of the dentist and the quality of the materials used in the crown’s fabrication can also influence its longevity. There are several technical factors that come into play, for example the shape and position of the crown, the way it fits with regard to adjacent and opposing teeth, or the method used for the final cementation of the crown. This is why it is not only important to have a good and experienced dentist but also a reputable dental lab or lab technician.
If a dental crown becomes damaged, loose, or if there are signs of decay around the edges, it may need to be replaced. As we always say, in dentistry prevention is everything. Regular dental check-ups can help monitor the condition of dental crowns and address any issues early on. At the Costa Rica Dental Team, we offer an incredible 10 year warranty to address any issues with your crown. We do this because we are confident in not only our team of dentists but also in the quality of our lab. If you need crowns that are not only well done but also beautiful, feel free to contact us and we will guide you through the process. The time to get your perfect smile is now!