Dental crowns can work miracles for people who’ve experienced significant tooth decay. If you’ve just gotten one, or are looking into them, you might wonder how long they’re expected to last. The answer depends on a few factors, including the type of material you select. If you’re curious, here’s a guide that can give you some information.
How Long do Dental Crowns Last?
As mentioned, the exact lifespan of a dental crown varies. If well maintained, the average crown lasts about 15 years before needing to be replaced. Variables can include quality of maintenance, how well the restoration fits the tooth, and how hard you are on them. However, the principal factor is what the crown is made out of. Here are some of the most common materials used to manufacture dental crowns, along with how long they’re expected to last:
- This is a strong ceramic related closely to titanium.
- It’s the strongest non-metal material a crown can be made of.
- It’s not very malleable, so getting a good fit is more difficult than with other materials.
- It lasts around 10-15 years.
Porcelain or Porcelain-fused-to-metal
- These are some of the most common crowns.
- They come in two varieties. Older crowns are usually porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), where the restoration is attached to a titanium base. Newer models are made entirely of porcelain, and they’re just as durable.
- They can last 5-15 years without failing.
- PFM crowns are long-lasting, but if the gums around them start to recede, the metal can start to peek out. The result is an unsightly black line around the crown, and the only solution is to replace it entirely. For this reason, all-porcelain crowns are typically recommended.
- This is the strongest material a crown can be made of.
- It’s resistant to chipping, cracking, or breaking.
- It’s malleable, and can therefore be made to fit a tooth very well.
- Gold crowns are very obviously not your natural tooth. For that reason, they’re usually recommended for replacing back teeth.
- It’s incredibly consistent, with 95% of gold restorations lasting for over 10 years. Well-maintained gold crowns often last for decades.
Which crown your dentist will recommend depends on the location of the decayed tooth, how much damage there’s been, and how much of the crown will be visible when you smile.
Whatever material you choose, you’ll probably take care of your dental crown the same way you would any tooth. Brush and floss daily, and avoid being too hard on your teeth. Keep that in mind and your restoration should last you for decades to come.
About the Author
Dr. Chris Devlin was inspired by his childhood orthodontist to become a dentist, and he loves nothing more than giving his patients the smiles they deserve. He received his Doctor of Dental Medicine from the University of Pittsburgh School of Dental Medicine, and since then has enjoyed keeping up with the latest oral medicine. If you have any questions about dental crowns, he can be reached at his website or by phone at (814) 238-3553.