Investing in your oral health through dental crowns is an important decision, especially if you are working on a budget. Aside from durability, other usual considerations are the average lifespan of your dental crown, aesthetics, and its long-term impact on your oral health. In this post, we will share how long your crowns can last, depending on their type.
Many patients are curious about dental crowns as soon as they are mentioned by their trusted dentist in Shelby, NC. Shelby Dental Care Center seeks to enlighten our community about the advantages of having dental crowns and the perks of each of its types.
What are dental crowns?
A dental crown is a tooth-colored cap that is shaped like your natural tooth. It protects a tooth from further damage and ensures that it can still be used for proper chewing. This dental procedure takes two dental visits. On your first visit, the tooth will be covered with a temporary crown. Once the permanent crown is available from the dental lab, the dentist will replace the temporary crown with your actual dental crown.
Dentists recommend a dental crown to cover dental implants and save the teeth of patients with severe tooth decay and those who have undergone root canal therapy. Unlike other dental appliances, it is not removable and is cemented to your natural teeth as long as their tooth roots are intact in the gums.
Types of dental crowns
There are several types of dental crowns suitable for teeth in different locations in the mouth. Molars require a more sturdy material, while front teeth are pegged for a more translucent look, mimicking the look of natural teeth. Here are the different types of crowns:
- Porcelain crown: It is the most natural-looking crown, which makes it an ideal option for front teeth restoration. It matches the color of the adjacent teeth, making it look like you never had any cavity or tooth discoloration at all. However, it is not as durable as metal crowns.
- Base metal alloy crown: It is a durable dental crown that can handle strong bite force, making it suitable for molars. It is usually made of cobalt-chromium and nickel-chromium alloys and does not chip like porcelain.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crown: It is a crown that has the advantages of both porcelain and metal crowns. The inner part is made of metal which ensures durability against a strong bite force. The outer layer is made of porcelain for a natural translucent look.
- Gold crown: It is the most durable and corrosion-free metal crown that can last for almost a lifetime. It is durable but does not mimic your natural tooth and is also the most expensive among all types of crowns.
- Zirconia crown: It is a kind of ceramic made of zirconium oxide and the newest type of crown today. It is sturdier than porcelain and does not damage the opposing teeth.
The root canal and dental crown tandem
A natural tooth that has undergone a root canal treatment requires a crown to protect it from getting damaged. Since the tooth no longer has a supply of calcium from the tooth pulp, it will become weaker over time and may look darker. With a dental crown, the strength and look of the damaged tooth are being restored, delaying or avoiding tooth loss.
How long do dental crowns last?
The actual lifespan of crowns depends on how long your natural tooth remains healthy. Once the tooth underneath the crown gets tooth decay, your dental crowns will no longer be functional. However, crowns do degrade over time depending on some factors like teeth grinding or corrosion. The varying lifespans of different dental crowns are as follows:
- Porcelain crown: 6 to 15 years
- Base metal alloy crown: 15 years
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crown: 5 to 15 years
- Gold crown: Lifetime (with proper dental care)
- Zirconia crown: 10 to 15 year
Crowns can last longer than their average lifespan with proper dental care and a healthy lifestyle.
Signs that your dental crowns need replacement
A dental crown helps seal all the possible entry points of bacteria on your damaged teeth. However, with poor oral hygiene, accidents, and bite problems, your dental crown may need to be replaced and shorten its lifespan. Aside from gum disease, here are other possible reasons that can lead to crown replacement:
- Gum irritation and recession
- Bite problems
- Pain around the crowned tooth
- An abscess around the crowned tooth
- Chipped crown
Learn more about your tooth restoration options at Shelby Dental Care Center
Dental crowns don’t decay but still require rigorous dental hygiene and regular checkups. Learn more about our dental crowns in Shelby, NC, by scheduling an appointment today. Let our dental team help you make a wise decision in investing in your oral health.