One of the questions patients commonly ask at Beyond 32 Dental is how long do crowns last? They mostly ask when considering dental crowns as part of their recommended treatment or when looking to replace a failed crown.
Now here’s the thing – there is no precise answer. What we can say, however, is that provided the crown is:
- Correctly installed by a skilled dental professional
- Using the appropriate materials
- and, given the proper oral maintenance
it should last for many years and, potentially, a patient’s lifetime. Unfortunately, as is the case for many things involving humans, and dental crowns are no different; no one can guarantee perfect results.
So, how long do dental crowns last?
Several factors determine how long a dental crown lasts.
- The condition of the tooth underneath the crown
- Whether the tooth is at the front or the rear of the mouth
- Full or partial crown
- Materials used for the crown, i.e. porcelain fused to metal, gold, zirconia, etc.
- Correct manufacture of the crown
- Oral hygiene and care of the tooth to be crowned
- Grinding or clenching of teeth
- Periodontal health (gum disease)
- Harmful habits such as chewing fingernails or ice and using teeth to remove bottle tops
- External trauma (accidents)
It’s fair to say there are many factors to consider when wondering how long will a dental crown last.
Many insurance companies will pay for its replacement if a dental crown fails 5 to 8 years after installation.
This fact leads most dentists to say that dental crowns should last between 5 and 15 years when a patient asks how long do dental crowns last. In other words, a dentist provides this timeframe so as not to mislead patients into thinking their dental crowns will last forever.
However, a retrospective survival study of dental crowns at a mixed NHS/Private dental practice in London, UK, showed that …
- When a dental crown was the best solution for a dental problem and
- Placed by an experienced dental professional
Dental crowns can last decades or indefinitely
The study tracked the success rate of 47 patients who had 179 restorations installed between 1966 and 1996. These restorations included 101 posterior and 53 anterior metal-ceramic dental crowns and 25 posterior gold crowns.
Patients were followed up annually with clinical and radiographic examinations for up to 50 years, given instructions on a strict preventive policy and all had good oral health.
The mean survival rate for metal-ceramic crowns was estimated as 47.53 years (95% confidence interval – 45.59-49.47 years), with the failures (3.9%) caused by acute periodontitis around the tooth root. The gold dental crowns had a 100% survival rate.
The study shows that a dental crown can last for a long time with appropriate crown materials, fabrication, and expert placement.
It also shows that we can’t be complacent about long term success and that everyone, especially those with dental crowns, needs to take good care of their teeth.
Dental crown treatment – guidelines for improved longevity
While dental crowns are a versatile treatment, they aren’t always the best solution. Our experienced dentists only recommend crowns if they consider they offer the best long term solution coupled with the highest chance of a successful outcome.
The choice of crown material and construction is paramount and depends on the locality in the mouth, the patient’s bite characteristics, and desired aesthetics.
While zirconia is known for its longevity, it’s not always the best choice. We discuss their needs and wishes with patients before recommending the most appropriate dental crown for their unique situation.
Our dentists are highly skilled in dental crown placement and fully aware of all the factors to consider for a successful and long-lasting outcome.
They ensure that the tooth surface is sufficiently etched and dry before placing the crown and use high-quality cement to secure it in place.
We also teach patients how to achieve the highest level of oral hygiene for their teeth and their dental crown. Good oral care at home is the key to how long your dental crown will last. The healthier your mouth, the more chance there is of your dental crown lasting a long time.
So getting back to the original question of, how long do crowns last?
The skill of your dentist and the quality of the dental crown goes a long way to increase its longevity. Ultimately, its longevity depends on how well you maintain your oral hygiene and how often you visit your dentist for checks.
If you’re considering a dental crown or need to replace a failed crown, why not contact the experienced, friendly dentists at Beyond 32 Dental. Call us today on (02) 9158 6334 to book an appointment.