If you find yourself with a damaged tooth, your dentist may recommend a dental crown as a potential solution. But have you ever considered the long-term impact of this treatment?

Dental crowns have emerged as a key solution in modern dentistry when it comes to preserving a healthy and confident smile. These custom-made tooth caps offer restorative and aesthetic benefits, making them a popular and reliable option for addressing a wide range of dental problems.

Making informed decisions about your oral health means considering the effects of any dental procedures are likely to have in your lifespan. In the following section, we will discuss the remarkable benefits of dental crowns, including their ability to protect and enhance your oral health for years to come.

Benefits of dental crowns

  • Protection: Dental crowns serve as a strong shield, protecting weakened teeth from further damage and reducing the risk of future dental problems.
  • Functionality: By restoring the functionality of damaged or decayed teeth, dental crowns make chewing and biting comfortable, allowing you to indulge in a diverse and nutritious diet.
  • Aesthetics: Crowns are custom-made to match the shade of your natural teeth, enhancing the appearance of your smile and improving your confidence.
  • Long-term health: Dental crowns contribute to your teeth's long-term health by preventing damage, restoring proper function, and preserving your smile's integrity.

Why are dental crowns necessary?

Dental crowns are required in cases where the tooth’s structure, function, or appearance must be restored or enhanced. Here are a few common dental issues that may necessitate the placement of dental crowns:

Severe tooth decay: When a tooth has extensive decay that cannot be addressed effectively with a filling, a crown may be required to restore its strength and functionality.

Fractured or cracked teeth: Dental crowns can protect and reinforce teeth that have sustained fractures or cracks due to trauma or biting forces, preventing further damage and restoring their integrity.

Large fillings: Dental crowns may be beneficial for teeth that have large cavities or fillings that compromise tooth structure. The crown protects and strengthens the remaining dental structure, preventing it from breaking or becoming more brittle.

Root canal treatment: A tooth that has undergone a root canal procedure can become more vulnerable. The placement of a dental crown over the treated tooth provides protection and aids in the restoration of its function.

Dental implants: Dental crowns are typically used to replace missing teeth that are supported by dental implants. Attaching the crown to the implant creates a replacement tooth that appears natural and functions normally.

Malformed or misshapen teeth: Dental crowns can be used to improve the appearance and alignment of teeth that are severely deformed, malformed, or have aesthetic concerns.

Tooth wear or grinding: Over time, excessive dental wear or grinding (bruxism) can weaken teeth. Dental crowns can restore the natural shape, size, and function of worn-down teeth, thereby preventing further injury.

Cosmetic enhancements: Crowns can be used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of teeth with severe discolouration, irregular shape, gaps or fissures, resulting in a more attractive smile.

Lifespan of dental crowns

When considering dental crowns as a long-term dental solution, it is crucial to comprehend their average lifespan and the factors that can affect their durability.

Lifespan of Dental Crown

Common types of dental crowns and their lifespan

  • Composite resin crowns: Crowns made from composite resin are less expensive than those made from other materials. However, they may have a shorter lifespan, typically between 5 and 10 years, and are susceptible to wear and chipping over time.
  • All-ceramic crowns: These crowns are renowned for their natural appearance and biocompatibility. They are an excellent choice for front teeth due to their aesthetics, but may not be as durable for back teeth. Their lifespan typically ranges from 10 to 15 years.
  • Porcelain-fused-metal crowns: Porcelain-fused-metal crowns combine the aesthetics of porcelain with the strength of metal. They are durable and can last around 10 to 15 years. However, the metal substructure may slightly affect their translucency compared to all-ceramic crowns.
    • Zirconia crowns: Due to their exceptional strength and resilience, zirconia crowns have become increasingly popular. These crowns can last longer than traditional porcelain or ceramic crowns, typically 15 years or longer.
    • 3D-printed crowns: This emerging technology allows for precise and customised crown fabrication. Although relatively new, 3D-printed crowns show promise in providing excellent fit and aesthetics. Their long-term lifespan is still being studied and may vary depending on the specific materials used.
    • Metal crowns: Gold or silver alloy crowns are renowned for their longevity. Metal crowns can last 10 to 20 years or even longer with appropriate maintenance, making them one of the most durable options. However, metal crowns have become less popular due to aesthetic, cost and waiting time concerns. Many patients now prefer more natural-looking options, such as ceramic or porcelain crowns.

    Your dentist will discuss several factors when choosing the material for your dental crown to ensure the most effective outcome. These factors include:

    • Location of the tooth
    • Visibility while smiling
    • Position of the gum tissue
    • The function of the tooth
    • Quantity of natural teeth still remaining
    • Colour-matching
    patient check up for dental crown

    Factors affecting longevity

    • Oral hygiene: Maintaining excellent oral hygiene, such as brushing, flossing, and dental checkups, is essential for extending the life of dental crowns. A clean and healthy mouth reduces the risk of dental decay and gum disease, thereby preserving the crown’s integrity.
    • Diet: Your diet can affect the durability of dental crowns. Avoiding excessively hard or sticky foods can protect the crown and underlying tooth structure from injury. In addition, reducing the consumption of sugary foods can aid in the prevention of tooth decay.
    • Grinding habits (Bruxism): Individuals who grind or clench their teeth (bruxism) might experience accelerated crown wear. A custom-made nightguard can shield the natural teeth and crowns from the damaging effects of bruxism.

    Risks associated with dental crowns

    • Heightened sensitivity: You may experience increased tooth sensitivity following the placement of a dental crown, particularly to hot and cold temperatures. This sensitivity typically subsides with time, but it can be managed with desensitising toothpaste or dental treatments.
    • Wear or damage to opposing teeth: When biting or chewing, improperly aligned or poorly fitted crowns can cause excessive wear or harm to the teeth that come into contact with them. Regular dental examinations can help detect and treat problems early on.
    • Chipping or breaking: While dental crowns are durable, they can be prone to chipping or breaking under certain conditions. This may be the result of trauma, biting on hard objects, or a weak tooth structure. The damaged crown requires immediate attention from a dentist in order to be repaired or replaced.
    • Loosening or falling out: In some cases, dental crowns may become loose or dislodged. This can occur as a result of factors such as improper fit, cement failure, or tooth decay. Contact your dentist immediately for an evaluation and possible re-cementing or replacement if your crown feels unstable or falls off.
    • Allergic reactions: Certain crown materials, such as nickel in metal crowns, may cause allergies or sensitivities in some individuals. Inform your dentist if you have known allergies so that alternative materials can be considered to prevent adverse reactions.
    • Tooth decay or gum disease: Although dental crowns do not decay, the area where the crown meets the natural tooth may still be susceptible to tooth decay and gum disease. Maintaining excellent oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and dental checkups, is essential to prevent these complications.

    Dental crown treatments contribute to the long-term health, functionality, and appearance of your smile. They can provide lasting benefits by protecting weakened teeth, restoring usability, and enhancing the appearance of your smile. However, you need to stay mindful of the potential complications and risks.

    Regular dental checkups, diligent oral hygiene, and prompt attention to any concerns, can bolster the success and longevity of your dental crown treatment. By understanding the long-term effects and maintaining preventative care, you can enjoy the benefits of dental crowns for many years. Dental Paradiso would love to help you maintain a healthy, confident smile, so get in touch to discuss your particular situation.