4146 Carmichael Road, Suite A
Montgomery, AL 36106
4647 Highway 280 # E
Birmingham, AL, 35242-5032
Smith Jr, James A D.D.S.
1500 20th St S
Birmingham, AL, 35205-4916
Hearn, Joel P D.D.S.
309 W College St
Florence, AL, 35630-5555
Timothy A Kerper Pc
626 Leighton Ave # A
Anniston, AL, 36207-5744
People often assume that once they have a crown placed on a tooth, it will last the rest of their lives. Although dental crowns may last for a very long time, it is not correct to say that they will last forever.
This is one of the most difficult questions asked of a dentist because, in essence, no one can be sure. However, there are a few resources available that can give us an idea of how long your dental crowns may last.
One resource is insurance companies. Even though the dental insurance company should not dictate the type of treatment that should be done, they give some insight into the matter. Insurance companies will pay for a new crown on the same tooth after five years. So, in essence, they believe that dental crowns will last at least five years. Another resource available is the dental literature. The dental research has some extreme variability in this area. It provides information that ranges from a 20% failure rate in 3 years all the way to a 3% failure rate in 23 years. So, which is correct? The answer actually has to be looked at on a case-by-case basis. To do this, we need to look at why dental crowns have to be replaced.
There are many reasons why dental crowns need to be redone. Fracture is one example. The fracture incidence of dental crowns can be related to either the type of restoration (gold, metal ceramic, all-ceramic) or where the tooth restoration is placed in the mouth (anterior vs. posterior). Another risk factor is if a person has a grinding habit at night. A crown will have a higher risk of fracture in a mouth that applies more forces to the teeth by grinding than in one that does not have any incidence of grinding.
Decay can be another reason why dental crowns need to be replaced. Just because a tooth receives a crown does not mean it is less prone to decay. In fact, because it has more areas that may trap plaque, it needs to be cleaned as well, if not more meticulously, during home care.
Esthetics can be another reason why dental crowns are replaced. Esthetics is one of the main reasons people choose to have a new crown made in the anterior part of the mouth. This occurs because as we get older, our teeth will change color and progressively get darker while the tooth with the crown will stay the same color as the day it was placed. A discrepancy between the color of the teeth will become more evident over time. In addition to color, esthetic changes in the position of the gum tissue over time can also affect the look of the crown.
Which one of these areas may be a factor in a patient's mouth is uncertain. An idea can be obtained by evaluating the reason a crown was needed in the first place (such as a fractured tooth, decay, etc.). In conclusion, it is unclear how long dental crowns will last. Their life span may be anywhere from a few years all the way to 20 years and beyond. A lot of it will depend on the need for the crown in the first place and how well the mouth is taken care of after the crown is placed.
By Greggory Kinzer, DDS, MSD
Maybe the reason we find an eight-year-old's gapped teeth smile so adorable is...we know it's not permanent. Soon the grown-up teeth will be poking through, clean and new. All part of the mouth's natural evolution.
It's not often that nature gives us a second chance, but when it comes to teeth it does just that. For many children it can be a wake-up call to start taking dental hygiene seriously. As the old saying goes, "God gives you two sets of teeth, but you have to buy the third."
It may be time though to change that outdated piece of wisdom to: "Teeth are like friends...ignore them and their needs and they'll go away. Be kind to them and they'll stick with you forever."
That's why regular hygiene appointments and a gum disease examination are so important. Barring injury, there's simply no reason why most of us should be missing teeth as we grow older. Call it a "10,000 smile checkup," insuring all your parts are in good working order.
Once your cosmetic dentist knows that your teeth are healthy and the gums are sound, he or she can do a little restorative dentistry to evolve your smile to an even higher level. Things like dental bonding to close the gaps…or invisible dental crowns or veneers for front teeth…even teeth bleaching for a truly dazzling and beautiful smile.
Give your cosmetic dentistry professional a call. He or she can help you see to it that your mouth does the job it was intended to for a lifetime. And look drop-dead sensational at the same time!