Getting a dental crown is an important investment in the health and appearance of your teeth. Crowns are restorative dental fixtures that repair your teeth in certain situations, such as after a root canal or in cases of tooth damage. A crown can restore your smile and help your teeth to remain healthy and functional.
However, although crowns are attractive and durable, they’re not permanent. The usual lifespan is between 5-15 years. This is a broad range, and you have a lot of control over how long your crown may last. Dr. Thomas Sokoly of Sokoly Dental explains more about what you can do to increase the lifespan of your crown.
Practice good oral hygiene
Dentists love to talk about the importance of good oral hygiene, which includes brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing before bed. There’s a reason they stress oral hygiene: it really does make your teeth and gums healthier.
Good oral hygiene also offers benefits in extending the lifespan of your crown. Brushing and flossing your teeth means also paying attention to your gums. This can prevent decay from building up at the base of your crown and shortening its lifespan.
Avoid clenching your teeth
Clenching and grinding your teeth is a problem for many reasons. Clenching and grinding put pressure on your teeth, making them more at risk of cracking. This same pressure can also crack a crown, which could require replacement sooner than anticipated.
If stress is the cause of clenching or grinding your teeth, your doctor may be able to prescribe medications to alleviate it. If you only grind your teeth at night, Dr. Sokoly can fit you for a custom mouthguard to wear while you sleep.
Avoid damaging foods and bad habits
Your diet is one of the biggest threats to a crown’s lifespan. The foods you eat have a major impact on the strength of your teeth. Sticky foods like caramel and taffy, and hard foods like ice and hard candy can damage your crown. Bad habits, like biting your fingernails or opening packages with your teeth, can also cause damage.
Knowing when a crown needs to be replaced
Most crowns should last for several years, though the length of time varies for each individual. Crowns are made of very durable materials but are not indestructible. Your bite, your diet, and your dental hygiene are all important factors in lengthening the lifespan, but you can still expect to replace a crown at some point.
Though you can’t get cavities in a crown, you can still get them around or under the crown. This means we’d have to replace the crown so we could take care of the tooth decay. If the tooth decay is extensive enough, you could even require a root canal before getting a new crown.
You’ll likely need a new crown if yours becomes chipped or cracked as well. You may or may not know if your crown has a crack; Dr. Sokoly will let you know if he discovers a crack in your crown during your semi-annual routine exam.
With proper care and some good luck, crowns can often last 15 years and even beyond. If you need a crown, it’s important to take care of it properly. If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment, Dr. Sokoly would love to talk to you. Call his office today at 202-280-2428, or request an appointment online.