At Bandon Dental, we are often asked “How long do crowns last?”. For patients suffering from heavily damaged or decayed teeth, dental crowns are generally the last restorative solution available to them.
Although crowns might not be suitable for every patient, they can be an effective way of extending the lifespan of a damaged tooth, preserving it for many years until other treatments need to be considered.
Available in a range of materials, crowns can restore chewing function, restore your smile and improve your self-confidence.
With more than four decades of experience, we’re a great choice if you’re looking for a reliable dentist in Cork you can trust. Looking to learn more about crowns and whether they’re the right treatment solution for you? Read on for everything you need to know.
What Are Dental Crowns?
A dental cap is a restorative cap that repairs a damaged tooth. If a tooth has been broken or heavily damaged by decay, a dentist will reshape the existing tooth to prepare it for a replacement crown. In most cases, some healthy enamel will have to be removed before fitting your crown.
A bonding agent will then be applied to the damaged tooth before the crown is snugly fitted on top. Most crowns are made from resin, porcelain or metal. When wondering how long crowns last, the material used is usually the most important factor.
When Would You Need One?
There are many reasons why you might be visiting a dentist in Bandon to have a crown fitted.
- Many patients choose crowns to restore cracked or worn-down teeth.
- Sometimes, they can be applied to heavily stained, but otherwise healthy teeth.
- They’re sometimes fitted to strengthen particularly weak teeth or after a root canal procedure has been performed.
- Crowns are also an option for patients who’ve undergone tooth extraction.
- They can help keep a dental bridge in place.
- If you’ve invested in a dental impact, you’ll need to have a crown fitted to restore a full smile.
Popular Types of Crowns
Crowns can be crafted from a variety of materials. Some are more expensive than others, but these usually deliver long-lasting results.
Gold is without a doubt the most durable material for crafting crowns. If properly cared for, a gold crown can last for decades. However, they’re not the most aesthetically pleasing option. Unless you’re having a crown fitted on an out-of-sight tooth, such as a molar, it’s best to choose another material.
Metal crowns coated with porcelain are a more cost-effective and visually appealing alternative. The combination of materials makes them incredibly durable. How long do crowns last if they’re made from porcelain and metal? With proper dental hygiene, a porcelain on metal crown can last for upwards of 10 years.
Another option is a ceramic crown. As with porcelain on metal crowns, ceramic crowns can last for more than a decade. What sets ceramic apart from other materials is that it’s incredibly natural looking, with a ceramic crown often indistinguishable from genuine teeth. Although there’s a risk of low-quality ceramic chipping, premium materials like zirconia are far more durable. The hard-wearing nature of these crowns makes them suitable for replacing any tooth, including molars that need to withstand regular chewing action.
A more affordable option is a resin crown. This is the same material that dental fillings are made from. While fillings can last for many years, crowns that are made from moulded resin aren’t the most reliable. Proper care can extend their lifespan, but they won’t cope well with repeated wear and tear. This makes them unsuitable replacement for teeth like molars.
Sometimes, a dentist will fit a temporary crown made from an alloy like stainless steel. These aren’t designed with long-term use in mind and are generally fitted following root canal procedures. A paediatric dentist may also use a stainless steel crown to cap decayed teeth in children.
How Long Do Crowns Last? Key Factors to Consider
It’s not just the material that affects how long a crown will last. In fact, several different things need to be considered to ensure you’re picking the best value solution for you.
One of the most important things to consider is where the crown will be fitted. If you’re looking to have a crown fitted in a visible location, such as to restore a front tooth, it makes sense to spend more money on a natural-looking material.
Metal crowns might be fine for out-of-sight molars, but a ceramic or porcelain crown is generally the best option for those front teeth. While a hard-wearing material will typically produce a long-lasting crown, this is no guarantee. A poorly constructed crown can dramatically reduce the lifespan of your replacement tooth. A good crown needs to match up perfectly to the tooth it’s been designed to replace. If it doesn’t, your bite will be misaligned, leading to excessive levels of wear and tear. This can damage the crown prematurely.
How long do crowns last without proper dental hygiene? The answer is not very long. Many patients assume that tooth decay is a thing of the past once they’ve had a crown fitted. However, if you let oral hygiene slide, bacteria and plaque can quickly take root underneath the dental crown itself. If the decay is left unchecked, it can make fitting future crowns more difficult. Regular brushing and flossing are a must, while regular visits to a dental hygienist are a good idea.
Pros and Cons of Dental Crowns
Pro: Preserve Damaged and Decayed Teeth
Dental crowns are a cost-effective way of preserving existing teeth. Even heavily decayed and damaged teeth can be saved by having a dental crown fitted. They can also be used to protect weakened teeth from continued wear and tear.
Pro: Improve Your Bite
If sensitive teeth are making it hard for you to chew your food, crowns can restore your chewing function and provide long-lasting relief.
Pro: Restores Your Smile
A more obvious benefit is that they can restore the appearance of a full and natural smile, boosting your self-esteem. How long do crowns last all depends on the material you’ve chosen. However, most types of crowns can last for more than 10 years.
Con: Can Be Uncomfortable
To fit a crown, some of your natural enamel will need to be removed. Additionally, some patients experience minor discomfort after having their crowns fitted.
Con: Poorly Fitted Crowns Can Lead to Problems
If they’re not fitted properly, it’s also possible for bacteria to build up, leading to decay. Misaligned crowns can also wear down over time, leading to visible fractures and eventual breaks. In very rare cases, some patients may experience an allergic reaction to metal-based dental crowns.
Are Dental Crowns Worth It?
I feel we have now answered the question “how long do crowns last?”. To conclude, If you’re looking to restore your smile to its former glory, dental crowns are the obvious choice. While caps moulded from resin material are generally inexpensive, they’re not particularly durable.
Metal crowns are a budget-friendly solution for molars, while porcelain and ceramic crowns are a natural-looking alternative for more visible teeth. If properly fitted and cared for, dental crowns can easily last for more than a decade before they need replacing.
Even if a crown is chipped, it might be possible to restore it if you schedule an emergency dentist appointment.
Book An Appoint Today
Thinking about dental crowns or dental bridgework? Speak to Bandon Dental about how we can help you. Established in 1980, our dental professionals can provide you with a solution that’s tailored to you. If you have questions like how long do crowns last or which material is the best choice, our team will be happy to advise you, as accredited members of the Irish Dental Association.
Maybe you are looking for other services? Alternatively, talk to us about tooth extraction and dentures. Looking for cosmetic solutions? We offer a full range of services, including teeth whitening, orthodontics or Invisalign.
Why not drop us a message today via the online contact form? Alternatively, call us on (023) 884 1752 to arrange your consultation.