Porcelain dental crowns are an excellent choice for enhancing your smile. Esthetics is one of the top benefits of choosing this natural-appearing treatment to repair a damaged tooth; crowns are also strong and durable. However, all dental restorations require replacement after many years. You can help your porcelain crown last longer by taking several steps discussed below.
What Are Porcelain Dental Crowns?
Porcelain crowns are used widely in dentistry to repair damaged or weakened teeth. Here are some key points to know about porcelain crowns:
- Porcelain crowns are custom-made to cover your entire tooth for maximum protection and strength.
- Porcelain crowns can restore cracked, chipped, or weakened teeth damaged by decay or injury.
- They can cover and protect teeth that have undergone root canal therapy.
- They are often used to replace large, defective, and failed fillings.
- Porcelain crowns are highly durable and can last 10-15 years or longer with proper care and maintenance.
- They are highly resistant to staining and discoloration, making them an excellent option for restoring front teeth to blend in with the rest of your smile.
- Porcelain crowns can restore a single tooth or be used to support a fixed dental bridge.
- Porcelain crowns require careful preparation and placement by a skilled dentist to ensure a comfortable and long-lasting result.
The Typical Lifespan of Porcelain Crowns
While the lifespan of porcelain crowns can vary, it's helpful to understand what to expect and learn the steps you can take to maximize their longevity. The average lifespan of a porcelain crown is between 10 to 15 years.
Some factors that determine longevity are outside your control, such as material defects, how your teeth bite together, and accidents that damage the porcelain. However, with proper care and maintenance, you can extend the lifespan of your crown to twenty years or longer.
Twelve Factors That Affect the Lifespan of Porcelain Crowns
The lifespan of a porcelain crown can vary significantly depending on several factors, including the following:
- Quality of the crown. The quality of the porcelain used and the expertise of the dental technician who crafted your crown play a significant role in determining its longevity. High-quality porcelain and expert craftsmanship are essential to ensure the crown's durability and proper fit.
- Oral hygiene. Lack of proper oral hygiene can lead to plaque buildup that causes tooth decay and gum disease.
- Placement and fit. A well-fitted crown is likelier to last longer than one that does not fit properly. An improperly fitted crown can lead to issues such as sensitivity, pain, and even dislodgement. The oral health professionals at Palmetto Dental Arts use the highest quality porcelain and ensure the crown fits and functions well.
- Bite and occlusion. If your teeth do not come together correctly when you bite, it can cause excessive force on the crown, increasing the risk of porcelain fracture.
- Teeth grinding (bruxism). Teeth grinding can lead to many dental problems, such as TMJ discomfort, jaw pain, damaged teeth, and the need for dental restorations, such as porcelain crowns.
- Nail-biting or using your teeth as tools. Teeth are intended to chew food. Chewing nonfood items, such as fingernails and ink pens, can cause damage to your natural teeth and porcelain crowns.
- Tobacco use. Smoking can lead to an increased risk of tooth decay and gum disease, affecting the crown's longevity.
- Poor diet. Consuming excessive sugar and acidic foods can harm the tooth structure supporting the crown and diminish its lifespan.
- Crown materials. Porcelain crowns can be made of different materials, such as porcelain fused to metal (PFM) or all-porcelain crowns. The choice of material can affect the crown's durability and longevity.
- Underlying Tooth Structure. The health and stability of the tooth structure supporting the crown can significantly affect its lifespan. For example, a decayed or cracked tooth may not adequately support the crown, leading to its potential failure.
- Dental Checkups and Maintenance. Missing regular checkups can promote the advancement of a minor problem into a more extensive and costly dental treatment.
- Trauma or Accidents. Accidental trauma, such as a fall or a blow to the face, can damage the porcelain, shortening the crown’s lifespan.
How To Make Porcelain Crowns Last Longer
There are several strategies you can use to improve your oral health and increase the lifespan of your porcelain crown, such as to:
- Brush and floss regularly. Consistent oral hygiene is essential for prolonging the lifespan of your porcelain crown. Brush your teeth twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush for two minutes. Floss with the proper technique at least once daily. Use the mouthwash recommended by your dentist to help prevent plaque buildup and bacterial growth that can damage the tooth structure supporting your crown.
- Schedule regular dental checkups. Regular dental checkups and professional cleanings can help identify and address potential issues with your porcelain crown early. In addition, your dentist can monitor the condition of your crown and recommend any necessary adjustments or repairs.
- Protect your crown from excessive forces. Porcelain crowns can chip or crack under extreme pressure. Avoid biting down on hard objects such as ice, hard candies, or pencils, and do not use your teeth as tools to open packages or bottles.
- Wear a nightguard. If you grind your teeth while sleeping, talk to your dentist about possible solutions, such as a nightguard, to protect your crown and prevent damage.
- Correct tooth misalignment. Traditional orthodontics and clear aligners can improve your bite and minimize the issues that arise from bite problems.
- Eat a balanced diet. Eating a healthy, balanced diet rich in vitamins and minerals supports overall oral health and can help prolong the lifespan of your porcelain crown.
- Consider the crown material. Discuss the various crown material options with your dentist. For example, porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns may offer more durability, while all-porcelain crowns provide a more natural appearance. Choose the best material for your unique needs and preferences.
- Address inflamed gums. Healthy gums are essential for supporting the tooth structure beneath your crown. Therefore, bleeding and swollen gums should be addressed immediately to prevent more significant gum disease.
- Avoid tobacco products. Smoking and other tobacco products can increase your risk of several oral health issues, potentially compromising the longevity of your porcelain crown. Conversely, quitting tobacco use will benefit your overall health and help maintain your dental restorations.
Signs That Your Porcelain Crown Needs to Be Replaced
If you notice any of the following signs, consult your dentist about the condition of your crown:
- Pain or sensitivity around your crown.
- Visible damage to your crown, such as chips or cracks.
- A loose or ill-fitting crown.
- Receding gums that expose the edge of your crown or the tooth beneath.
- Wear and tear that affects your bite or smile's appearance.
Schedule an Appointment
To learn more about porcelain crowns and other cosmetic dentistry services offered by Palmetto Dental Arts, call or contact us online.