We all cherish the warmth of a smile, but when dental issues emerge, they can sometimes dim the glow of even the most enthusiastic person. Thankfully, dentistry has made great strides, and today provides solutions that restore both function and aesthetic appeal to our teeth. One such solution, available from Steven C. Hewett D.D.S. in Champion’s Gate, FL, is the dental crown.
A dental crown, often referred to as a ‘cap,’ is a cover placed over a tooth. Its purpose? To strengthen and protect your damaged tooth. It not only safeguards the structural integrity of the tooth but also restores its shape, size, and beautiful appearance, helping you regain that confident smile.
How Long Does a Dental Crown Usually Last?
The significance of crowns in maintaining dental health and enhancing the aesthetic of your teeth is undoubted. From protecting a weak tooth to restoring a broken one, covering a dental implant, or making a cosmetic modification, crowns serve an array of purposes in supporting oral health.
If you’ve recently had a crown placed, you may be wondering how long you can expect it to last. The answer can vary based on multiple factors, but with proper care and maintenance, a dental crown can last anywhere from five to fifteen years, and sometimes even longer. Let’s take a closer look at how caps, or crowns, work.
Understanding Dental Crowns
Picture a small cap, shaped just like a tooth. This cap can be made from various materials, like metal, porcelain, ceramic, resin, or a combination of these. Each material has unique benefits and its own lifespan. For instance, metal crowns are known for their durability, while porcelain and ceramic crowns more closely resemble the natural color and appearance of teeth, making these materials ideal for front tooth restoration.
How Is a Crown Placed?
Getting a crown on your teeth involves a process that is meticulously carried out by our dental professionals. It starts with a thorough examination and consultation to understand the needs of your teeth. The tooth receiving the crown is then prepared, which might involve a little reshaping to fit the crown properly.
Impressions of your teeth are taken to create a crown that is a perfect fit, and a temporary crown may be placed until the permanent one is ready. Once your custom-made crown is finished, it’s cemented onto the prepared tooth, and voila! Your tooth has been restored.
Why Is a Crown Used?
You may need a crown for a variety of reasons. It could be to protect a tooth weakened by decay or to restore a tooth that has been broken or severely worn down. Crowns are also used to keep a dental bridge in place, cover and support a tooth with a large filling, cover a dental implant, or even as a cosmetic modification. Whatever the reason, rest assured that the goal is the same: to help you maintain a healthy, beautiful smile.
The Lifespan of Different Types of Crowns
When discussing the lifespan of dental crowns, it’s important to remember that not all crowns are created equal. Different materials offer different lifespans, and choosing the right one for your needs is important.
Made from gold alloy, base-metal alloy, or other metal alloys, metal crowns are praised for their durability. With proper care, they can last over 15 years, or sometimes even more than 20 years! They are an excellent choice for molars that are out of sight but need to withstand heavy chewing forces.
Crowns made of porcelain fused to metal offer a balance of durability and aesthetics. They blend well with your natural teeth and can last about 10 to 15 years with proper care. Sometimes, the metal beneath the crown’s porcelain can show through as a dark shadow, especially as a line near the gums, meaning it may not be the most aesthetic option available.
All-resin crowns are more cost-effective than other options but are also more prone to fractures and wear, typically lasting around 5 to 7 years. Yet, they can still be an appealing choice for those seeking an economical solution for restoring their smile.
On the other hand, all-ceramic crowns, offering the best natural color match, are a good choice for people with metal allergies. Their lifespan is comparable to that of porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
Protect Your Dental Crowns for Longer Lifespans
The lifespan of your crown depends on more than just the material it is made of. More than the type of crown you receive, the care you give and the way you care for your teeth will determine how long it lasts before it needs to be replaced.
Good oral hygiene is essential not just for your natural teeth but also for the upkeep of your crown. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using mouthwash can all help to keep your crown clean and free from harmful plaque. It’s these small acts of care that can add years to the lifespan of your crown and help maintain its appearance.
Habits like grinding or clenching your teeth, chewing on ice or hard candies, and using your teeth as tools to open packages can all accelerate the wear and tear of your crown. Being mindful and avoiding these habits can help your crown last longer.
Regular Dental Check-Ups
Lastly, the role of regular dental check-ups is irreplaceable. These check-ups allow our dental professionals to monitor the condition of your crown and intervene early if there are signs of wear, loosening, or other potential issues. Your crown is an investment in your smile, and like any good investment, it benefits greatly from regular attention and care.
Signs of Wear and When To Replace Your Crown
In the same way that your tires can wear out after years on the road, your crown can show signs of wear over time. But don’t worry, this is entirely normal and manageable. The key is knowing what to look out for and when to seek professional advice.
You might notice wear and tear, or the crown may become loose. You might experience discomfort when you bite down, or increased sensitivity to heat and cold. In some cases, you may see a dark line near your gums. If you experience any of these signs, it’s essential to reach out to our team. We can assess the situation and recommend the best course of action.
Replacing a Crown
Placing a new crown typically involves removing the old one, preparing the tooth, and fitting a new crown, much like the initial placement process. Although it might sound daunting, this process is a common one, performed routinely by our dental professionals.
Never hesitate to seek our advice when you notice changes in your crown. Early intervention can help prevent a small issue from turning into a larger one, and help maintain the health of your smile. Remember, we’re with you every step of the way!
Cap Off Your Smile With Dental Crowns
Crowns are a precious aid to your beautiful smile. From the material they are made from, to your oral hygiene practices and personal habits, every crown will last for a different amount of time, but with proper care, they can last for years. For more questions about crowns or oral health, contact Steven C. Hewett D.D.S. in Champion’s Gate, FL, and make that smile shine!