When you get a crown, you may hear your Bendigo Smiles dentist call it a “permanent” crown.
This leads some patients to believe that once they have a crown it will stay in their mouth forever. But that is rarely true. In fact, a “permanent” crown is called that to distinguish it from a “temporary” crown, which is placed over a tooth to protect it until a ‘permanent’ crown can be emplaced.
Because a “permanent” crown is only comparatively permanent, at Bendigo Smiles we’d like to let you know about how long you can expect a crown to last, and what you can do to extend that lifespan.
How long should a Dental Crown last?
- It is reasonable to expect that a dental crown will last between up to fifteen years, sometimes far longer (see statistics section below).
- Many dental insurance plans stipulate that they’ll only pay for replacement crowns after the previous one has provided at least 5 years of service.
- The fact is that a crown that only lasts five years is a disappointment to your dentist. At Bendigo Smiles it is our hope that any crown they make for you will last a decade or longer.
- So, depending on: 1) The amount of wear and tear the crown is exposed to (chewing and biting forces, accidental trauma, tooth grinding) and 2) How well you keep its tooth free of dental plaque, a crown can last indefinitely.
What Does the Science Say?
- Pjetursson (2007) performed a literature review of published research and from it estimated a survival rate of 94% for crowns at 5 years and 90% at 10 years.
- A study by Reitemeier (2013) determined that at the 8-year mark, the survival rate for porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns lay on the order of 94% (138 teeth studied, private practice setting).
- De Backer (2007) evaluated teeth that had been crowned by student clinicians at a dental school over a 16 to 20 year period. The 18-year survival rate calculated was 75%.
- Walton (2013) reported on the long-term outcome for 2,340 crowns placed by an individual prosthodontist (a dental specialist). A survival rate of 97% was found at 10 years, 85% at 25 years.
Why Do Dental Crowns Need To Be Replaced?
There are four very basic categories of causes for crowns to need replacement:
- Damage – Cracked or broken crowns.
- Excessive wear – Hole formation.
- Complications with tooth decay.
- Deteriorated cosmetic appearance.
To avoid, issues related to these problems, it is important to protect your crowns!
Protecting Your Dental Crowns
- Maintain good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing your teeth every day. Crowns sit on the top of your natural teeth, which are still prone to decay. Healthy teeth and gums are the foundation of long-lived crowns.
- Visit your Bendigo Smiles dentist every six months. Regular checkups allow us to see any signs of decay or damage, and then act upon it right away.
- Do wear a custom-fitted mouth/bite guard if you bite or clench your teeth often, or if you play any sports. This device will protect both the porcelain crown and your teeth. Studies show that teeth clenching or grinding is one of the common reasons why dental crowns get damaged.
- Another reason why crowns fail is due to poor placement. Choose a dentist who is experienced in crown restoration. This is why your crown should be placed by a trusted dentist such as you find at Bendigo Smiles!
- Don’t use your teeth to open bottles or plastic packaging.
- Don’t bite your fingernails or pencil tips.
- Don’t chew ice in your drinks, or bite your candy when you’re almost done with it. Your porcelain crown will wear and tear fast if you constantly bite on hard food or objects.
One last thing!
Having a “permanent” crown placed in your mouth doesn’t mean that it will necessarily last forever. And that means to whatever extent is possible, one of your goals should be to avoid the need to have crowns placed on other teeth – the best way to protect crowns is to never have them affixed in the first place! So practice that good oral hygiene, visit us at Bendigo Smiles, avoid injuries, and wear a mouthguard if you grind your teeth or play sports.
About Your Bendigo Smiles Dentist
The team at Bendigo Smiles, a family dental practice, consists of committed, experienced and energetic individuals who are kind and friendly; they bear a common goal – to provide the best care to their patients. The team takes pride in working towards staying current in the field through continuing education and providing treatment under all aspects of general dentistry and catering to people of all ages.
Our services include:
- Preventive Dental
- Children’s Dentistry
- Fillings & Extractions
- Cosmetic & Restorative
- Sedation Dentistry
Our offices are conveniently placed at 78 Arnold Street, Bendigo, Victoria, 3550.