If you had dental crowns fitted sometime in the past you may be wondering how long they should be expected to last. You may also be wondering what condition might give rise to replacement. What do you need to know?

How Long Should a Crown Last?

While many dental crowns could be expected to last for up to 15 years, much will depend on your own oral hygiene and on the type of wear and tear the crown is exposed to over its life.

Porcelain Ceramic Crown Damage

One of the main reasons for needing a replacement is damage to the porcelain component of a crown. These types of crown can either be fused-to-metal or all-ceramic. In the case of the latter if you have any damage to that particular crown then it's likely that it will be fractured through its full thickness. In this case it's not possible to repair the crown, as it will have lost its structural integrity. It will need to be fully restored. This is why dentists will usually choose a fused-to-metal option for back teeth, rather than all-ceramic. This is due to the amount of force involved when chewing and biting.

Fused-to-Metal Crown Issues

With the porcelain fused-to-metal crown different components are involved. The part that actually covers the tooth is a thin metal jacket, which is in turn fused to an outer layer of porcelain to give the tooth its correct appearance. When damage occurs here it is normally to the outer porcelain rather than the inner metal component.  Dentists can often repair minor damage to the porcelain, but if the issue is larger then the whole crown will likely need to be replaced.

Root Canal Treatment Damage

If you need to have a root canal done at any time then the dentist will have a couple of options. If it's not possible to remove the crown first, then a perforation will need to be made through it in order to access the root canal for treatment. When this happens the structure of the crown will be compromised and it will not be possible to place a conventional filling within to re-establish.

Clenching and Grinding Damage

The most common problem involves perforations within the crown caused by a bad tooth clenching or grinding habit. This is due to the pressures involved in making contact with the opposite tooth. The crown will need to be replaced before dental plaque gets the chance to form a cavity beneath.

Damage to Opposing Teeth

Note that crowns can sometimes cause excessive wear and tear on the teeth they oppose. This is because they can be made from a material that is denser and more abrasive. If you have a crown that is made from these older components then you may need to consider replacing the crown in order to safeguard the opposing teeth as much as possible.

If you fear your dental crowns are suffering from wear and tear, get them examined by professionals from clinics like Prime Dental Pty Ltd.