Why Might I Need a Replacement Dental Crown?

Dental crowns (also known as "caps") are needed on teeth for various reasons. Two of the reasons crowns are needed is to restore broken and unaesthetic - ugly - teeth.

How Long Does a Dental Crown Last?

When crowns are well made, research shows that the average length of time before they wear out is approximately ten years. Because each person is unique, no one can tell you how long a dental crown will last. Even though cosmetic dentistry uses advanced materials, the most durable dental crown material is gold. Dental porcelain fused to gold is the next most durable; an all-porcelain dental crown is the least durable.

Reasons to Replace Dental Crowns

  • Recurrent decay around the crown edges
  • The crown material wears down
  • Broken porcelain
  • Chronic trapping of food and plaque in between the teeth
  • Poor appearance
  • Teeth need to be linked together due to periodontal disease or excessive force

What Causes Dental Crowns to Fail Sooner Rather Than Later?

As stated earlier, each person is unique, but there are some situations that will cause a dental crown to fail sooner rather than later.

  • Excessive force or clenching
  • Excessive grinding of teeth or bruxism
  • Failing to maintain good oral health
  • Diet high in sugar content like soft drinks, candy and junk food
  • High decay rate
  • Severe periodontal disease
  • Parafunctional habits such as nail biting, pen chewing and pipe smoking

How Are Dental Crowns Replaced?

When replacement crowns are prescribed, there are certain steps that the dentist must complete. First, the dental crown must be removed. This can be accomplished by either wiggling the crown free or cutting the crown off the tooth. Underlying decay should be removed and fillings should be placed as needed. These fillings are referred to as "build-ups" or "foundations" for the new crown. The tooth should then be refined and a new dental crown can then be placed.

No one can tell you how long a dental crown will last. The length of time that they can last is different for each person. Therefore, maintaining regular six-month visits to your dentist is extremely important if you want to maintain a healthy mouth.

By Benjamin O. Watkins, III, DDS

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Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of North Andover
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Mandy Chan, DMD

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Family & Cosmetic Dentistry of North Andover
451 Andover Street Suite G6
North Andover, MA 01845
General Info: (978) 681-9911