How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

A dental crown is the covering, which fits over the existing tooth in order to make it appear and feel just as a normal tooth. It is often used whenever a tooth is damaged or cracked or lost its original structure.

Dental crowns are marvels that have made life so much easier. Dental issues are often overlooked but with lack of dental care or oral hygiene, basic day to day activities can be severely hindered such as cutting up and chewing of food or even neuromuscular development and speech development in young kids. 

Dental crowns help in restoring the functionality of the teeth so that patients can maintain their dental functionalities to aid with day to day activities such as mastication, proper speech and enunciation, neuromuscular abilities and so on. Dental crowns are chosen based on the requirement of the patient and can be either temporary or permanent based on the treatment modality that is chosen by the dentist.

A common question people frequently have, which is – how long do dental crowns last?  

Let’s understand its lifespan in detail.

If a dental crown is properly maintained, it typically has a lifespan between 5 and 15 years on average. 

On the other hand, if a dental crown is taken care extremely, it can last for 25 - 40 years. But this also depends on an individual’s mouth. 

All-porcelain & porcelain fused metal (or PFM) crowns usually last for 5 – 15 years. On the other hand, metal crowns might last for 20 years or even longer. A gold crown and zirconia crown can last for a lifetime.

Note: Most insurance companies will pay if your crown needs to be replaced after 5 years. However, a well-made, quality crown shouldn’t have any defect or require replacement before 5 years. 

How Long Do Dental Crowns On Front Teeth Last?

In most cases, dental crowns on the front teeth can last up to 15 years. However, if they are properly taken care of, it can even last for 25-30 years. 

how long do dental crowns usually last

Factors That Affect The Longevity Of Dental Crowns

Note that a human’s mouth is complex. For a dental crown to last longer, these factors play an important role. 

•    Oral hygiene 
•    Daily eating habits
•    Clenching or grinding the teeth
•    Biting fingernails
•    Chewing ice
•    Drinking something extremely hot 
•    Using the teeth to open a packaging 
•    The material used to make the crown

Note: If a crown is manufactured with the highest standards, fitted correctly to your bite, and taken proper care of, it will possibly last for a lifetime.

Do Crowned Teeth Need Special Care?

While crowned teeth don’t require special care, it is worth noting that just because the teeth are crowned, it doesn’t mean they are protected from gum disease or decay.

Therefore, it is crucial to follow healthy eating practices and oral hygiene habits. Make sure that you:

•    Brush your teeth twice a day 
•    Floss daily, particularly around the crown region where your gum meets the tooth
•    Rinse with a good antibacterial mouthwash once in a day

How To Protect Your Dental Crown?

Though a crowned tooth does not need special care, it does need 100% protection from decay just as your other teeth.

Here are some of the best tips shared by dentists to help protect your crown post placement:

•    For the first few days, the crown area may be sensitive and therefore soft brushing twice a day and gentle flossing is to be followed, especially for pediatric patients.
•   Ensure that you do not bite in too hard which may damage your crown area such as biting into hard bones, chewy toffees, sugary treats etc.
•   Sensitivity is a common issue and therefore patients may avoid beverages or food that is too hot or cold for the first couple of days after the crown placement.
•   Visit or let your dentist know if your crown shows any indication of damage, overbite or any unusual sensitivity that prolongs for too long.
•    Avoid night grinding and seek help by using a night guard to prevent your crown from getting damaged.

5 Signs That Your Dental Crowns Need Replacement 

A crown is either replaced due to cosmetic reasons or to preserve the tooth’s health after it becomes damaged. 

If your lower and upper teeth are mal-opposed, meaning if they do not fit together correctly, you might have excess wear occurring on your occlusal surfaces due to:

•    Normal chewing 
•    Night-time bruxism (or teeth grinding)

Generally, bruxism puts a lot of stress on your crowns. Individuals with malocclusion or bruxism might suffer from early crown damage or wear. 

If your dentist sees any damage/wear on your crown or teeth, he/she will eventually replace your crown. So, here are 5 signs that indicate that your dental crown immediately needs a replacement. 

1. Pain around the crown

Your crown should completely protect your tender tooth beneath it. However, if your dental crown is broken, loose, or cracked, you will experience discomfort or pain in the tooth’s surrounding area. Since the underlying tooth is bare, it is highly susceptible to decay and bacteria.

Meet your dentist once you notice the below symptoms in your crown:

•    Tenderness
•    Pain
•    Swelling

Based on the severity of the crown’s damage, your dentist will do either of these two things:

•    Repair your dental crown 
•    Replace your dental crown entirely

2. Changes in your bites

Now, if you receive your crown, it shouldn’t affect the way you bite. Your dentist will shape your crown to ensure that it matches the height of the surrounding teeth, keeping your bite normal. 

However, for some reasons, if this doesn’t go well, it also calls for a “dental crown replacement.”

These signs indicate that you need to meet the dentist immediately: 

•    Jaw pain 
•    Trouble while chewing food, especially on the side of the mouth or where the crown lies

Based on how your dental crown affects your bite, your dentist will do either of these two things:

•    Reshape your dental crown to ease the pain and jaw tension 
•    Replace the dental crown entirely

3. Gum line recedes 

The chances of bacteria accumulation on the gum surface, especially where the dental crown has been placed, tends to be higher always. Therefore, gum complications such as receding gum line can occur any time after wearing a dental crown. 

A receding gum line indicates that:

•    Your crown is incorrectly placed, or
•    You are not taking proper care of your crown

See your dentist if you:

•    Notice something abnormal
•    Experience increased sensitivity near your gums

Based on the issue, your dentist might:

•    Fix the issue and advise you towards healthy oral hygiene
•    Replace the entire crown if there is sensitivity or cavity in the recessed region

4. Dated or aging crown

Though dental crowns last for years, given that they are properly taken care of, it is a good idea to replace your crown once it crosses 5-6 years of age. This is a good oral health practice too.

But if your dental crown hasn’t troubled you for years, there is no need to change it, unless you notice a damage or wear.

However, the below symptoms call for a replacement:

•    Damage or crack in the crown
•    Pressure in the nerve 

An aged/dated dental crown, or the one that includes metal components that do not match your teeth, can affect the longevity. Talk to your dentist and get it replaced with a silver or gold crown, particularly if it is on the front tooth. 

5. Cosmetic appearance begins to deteriorate 

A crown, which clearly noticeable or looks completely different from its nearby teeth is embarrassing. If it’s the back teeth, it isn’t a problem because they are hardly visible. But a differently-colored crown fixed over a canine or incisor will be noticeable.

During such cases, it is better to have the crown replaced with a new one. Before you make the decision of “replacing,” keep your “insurance policy” in mind because some companies tend to pay for new crowns only after a specific duration. 

If the issue is slight and you don’t experience much trouble, you could wait until the period ends and be eligible for the insurance claim.