Dental crowns are caps placed over teeth to correct imperfections such as chips, cracks, or discoloration. They are necessary in cases where a tooth has been weakened by decay, injury, or root canal therapy. Dental crowns protect a tooth after a dental implant has been placed. Factors that affect the durability and lifespan of dental crowns include material choice, oral hygiene, diet and lifestyle choices, and regular routine dental visits. In this article, we will dive deeper into each of these factors and give you tips on how to maximize the lifespan of your dental crowns.
Material choice and its impact on crown lifespan
There are different types of dental crowns available, and the choice of material plays a significant role in the crown’s lifespan.
- Porcelain crowns are made from tooth-colored materials that mimic the natural appearance of teeth. They are durable and typically last 5-15 years. Ceramic crowns are made from light-transmitting materials that give them a natural tooth look. They are highly resistant to wear but are less durable than porcelain crowns.
- Metal crowns are long-lasting and suitable for back teeth. They are mainly used for their strength and durability. Porcelain fused to metal crowns are a combination of the strength of metal crowns and the natural look of porcelain crowns. They are durable but may require periodic maintenance as the porcelain layer can chip or wear off over time.
- Porcelain and ceramic crowns are more fragile and can be damaged by grinding or clenching, whereas metal crowns can withstand high pressure.
Other Factors Affecting Crown Lifespan
Maintaining proper oral hygiene includes brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and visiting the dentist regularly to identify and treat issues before they worsen. Teeth grinding and clenching, known as bruxism, can wear down dental crowns over time. Using a mouthguard can protect the crowns from such damage.
A balanced diet high in nutrients such as calcium, phosphorus, and vitamin D helps keep teeth strong and healthy, thereby prolonging the lifespan of dental crowns. Lifestyle choices like smoking, drinking alcohol excessively, and consuming sugary foods and drinks can increase the risk of dental decay and/or gum disease, which can shorten the lifespan of dental crowns.
Regular maintenance and check-ups
Regular dental cleanings and check-ups are vital in maintaining dental crown health. Cleanings help remove plaque and tartar build-up, while check-ups help identify any issues that may have arisen. During check-ups, dentists also check the integrity of the crown and look for signs of wear and tear, along with decay and gum disease. The general recommendation is to visit the dentist every six months. However, your dentist may recommend a different frequency depending on individual factors and any particular issues.
Conclusion: Factors such as material choice, oral hygiene, diet and lifestyle choices, and regular routine dental visits all play a significant role in the durability and lifespan of dental crowns. Maximizing the longevity of dental crowns requires taking proactive steps to care for your oral health. Practicing proper oral hygiene and maintenance can ensure that your dental crowns remain in excellent condition for years. By taking regular and proactive steps to care for your dental crowns, you can avoid costly and time-consuming dental work in the future. So, make sure to take proper care of your dental crowns and enjoy a beautiful, healthy smile for years to come.