The life of a dental crown depends on several factors, including your oral health condition, diet and eating habits, home and professional oral care, and the material used to make the crown. Crowns are sometimes replaced for cosmetic reasons and oftentimes to preserve the health of the tooth after they become worn or gum tissue recedes. All-porcelain and porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns typically last five to 15 years. A metal crown may last up to 20 years or longer. Zirconia crowns and gold crowns can endure a lifetime.
If your upper and lower teeth are mal-opposed, i.e., they don’t fit together properly, you may have excessive wear occur on the occlusal surfaces as a result of normal chewing and nighttime bruxism (teeth grinding). Bruxism, in general, can put stress on crowns. People with malocclusion and/or bruxism may suffer with early crown wear or damage. If your dentist sees signs of wear occurring on your teeth and crowns, she or he may recommend one or more treatments that go beyond replacing a crown to improving your occlusion through modification of the tops of your teeth and possibly realignment of teeth with a course of orthodontics. Your dentist may also recommend that you wear a custom made acrylic bite splint that keeps your teeth comfortably apart during the night, relaxing jaw muscles and halting destructive force.
If gum health is compromised, the gum tissue around the base of your crown may recede, leaving a dark line that is not attractive, and also exposing tooth roots to plaque that can result in root infection and dental decay inside the crown. This can become very painful and require emergency tooth extraction. If you have had previous root canal therapy on a crowned tooth, you are not exempt from dental decay destroying the remaining part of your tooth that supports your crown.
A new crown may meet your objectives for a healthy, beautiful smile. If an alternative or additional treatment is in your best interest, this will be explained to you in detail, and we will help you find a way to have the quality care you deserve. Concerned about your crowns? Contact us today!