Dental crowns cover damaged teeth. They help restore the function, shape, and size of the tooth. They do not last forever, but with proper care and precaution, you can extend the life of your crown.
The lifetime of a crown depends on the wear and tear it endures. This varies from patient to patient. It also depends on the placement of the crown in your mouth. When cared for, the average lifetime of a crown is between 10-30 years.
There are various types of crowns. Their strength, durability, and aesthetics vary. Your dentist will consider several factors when choosing which crown to use on your tooth. These factors include:
How much of the natural tooth is remaining?
How much of the crown will be visible?
Where is the tooth located?
From the above considerations, the dentist will then choose the best type of crown for your damaged tooth. There are four commonly used crowns, and they have varied longevity. They are:
Over the last 60 years, these have been the popular and one of the most natural-looking crowns. However, with age, the porcelain chips and the metal margins show as gums recede. They are still great for bridgework.
For over 100 years, this has been the material of choice for crowns. This is due to its strength, aesthetics, and durability. Gold fits the tooth well and is resistant to chipping and cracking. A crown can last for decades with proper care. However, due to its unnatural appearance, dentists use it for work on molars.
Nowadays, alloys of gold with other metals like chromium, cobalt, palladium, or nickel reduce its cost. The upside is it does not in any way compromise the durability and strength of the crown.
Zirconium dioxide, which is very strong, is the material used in these crowns. Zirconia crowns are ceramic. Yet, this does not compromise their durability. The material that makes them is extremely resistant to fracture.
It is the strongest non-metallic crown. The disadvantage is that zirconia crowns do not fit well. However, with proper care, they can last for 10-15 years.
This is the most prescribed type of crown nowadays. This is because, in just one visit, you can have a crown made and permanently placed. It is a product of two elements — lithium, which is a silver-white metal, and silicon, which is a hard crystalline solid.
This compound is strong, and the crowns are cosmetically appealing. The aesthetic value comes from the ability to adjust the translucency of the material and how well it fits and bonds with the teeth. With proper care, lithium disilicate crowns can last for five to fifteen years.
Other factors affect the longevity of a crown. These include:
The health of the affected tooth.
Using your teeth as tools.
The dentist’s skill set when prepping and installing the crown.
Clenching and grinding your teeth, especially at night.
Just because a tooth has a crown does not mean that it is not prone to decay. Good oral hygiene is key to ensuring that your crowns last longer. This is more so in the area where the crown meets the gum. This will prevent gum disease.
To know more about dental crowns, visit Clarity Dental Center at our office in Federal Way, Washington. You can also call (253) 799-1490 to book an appointment today.