Crowns are some of the most regular dental features that people have, and, in fact, millions of people around the world have crowns in their mouth. Are you one of them? Or perhaps you’re worried that you may have to get a crown? If so, you should know that they don’t last forever and here’s why.
What is a Dental Crown?
If you’ve never had crowns or are about to have one or more put in, there are a few things you should know. Crowns coat damaged teeth in an attempt to restore the look and feel of the original teeth. They protect teeth from any further breakdown. However, this doesn’t last forever.
A crown (or “cap”) is meant to restore the shape and appearance of a tooth as well as protecting it. Dentists will often offer crowns if a tooth is discolored or damaged. Typically, they are given with a local anesthetic, and the dentist will file the original tooth down, then a mold is taken. The mold is used to create the crown and make sure it fits your mouth correctly.
Dentists will usually add a temporary crown at first, and then you have to come back later for the permanent one once it’s created.
Life Expectancy of Dental Crowns
Crowns typically last for about 15 years. Why is this?
Like other materials, crown materials can aged with your daily eating in a moisture environment. It might crack if you chew hard food. The cement that attached the crown to your teeth can be washed out overtime and leave a gap between the crown and your teeth. Most importantly, bacteria is always doing its work in your mouth, even in the smallest little nooks and crannies. As bacteria get into various places in your mouth, and tooth decay follows if it’s not properly removed. Decay happens even under crowns, which then leads to infection, inflammation, and receding gums.
Decay is a big problem, in part because people often don’t even realize its happening until it’s too late. Typically, people find out when a crown falls off and sometimes it will take the decaying tooth too.
Because the crowns are attached to teeth, sometimes it’s impossible to repair and reattach the crown, which means you have to have a new crown made if the tooth can be saved or have the tooth taken out if the tooth can’t be saved. Caring for your teeth well, for your entire life, is truly the best way to prevent tooth and crown breakdown.
Preventing Crown Breakdown
Aging means that the crown will break down and even come off eventually, but if you take care of your teeth, your crowns will last much longer.
There are a few things you can do with your crown to minimize breakdown and ensure its longevity, and mostly they involve avoiding things that will damage the cap. Bear in mind that 15 years is just an estimate for crown lifespan – they can wear out earlier or even later, but you want to do your best to make them last to avoid costly dental repairs.
Some things that can negatively affect crowns include:
- Chips in the crown
- Fractures in the crown
- Problems with the cement that holds a crown in place
- Injuries and accidents
Want more information on dental crowns or other cosmetic procedures? If you’re looking for a professional cosmetic dentist in the Nashua area, contact us today for more information.