Dental crown replacement is necessary if you suffer from pain or discomfort due to an existing crown. A dental crown or a cap is designed to protect the tooth. A dental crown also helps to give a broken tooth a complete shape and function, and thus obviates the need to extract it. Since a dental crown mimics the shape and color of the original tooth, it can also help you restore your beautiful smile as well.
How Long Does a Dental Crown Last?
A dental crown can last for a minimum of five years. However, with proper care and good oral hygiene, a dental crown can last anywhere between 10 and 15 years. Dental hygiene is important as the tooth to which the crown is attached should be kept free of plaque, tartar and calculus. The life of a crown also depends on the exposure it receives, regular wear and tear due to chewing, habits like grinding your teeth while asleep, and exposure to accidental trauma. With proper care your dental crown can last indefinitely, especially if it’s at the back of your mouth and discoloration isn’t visible.
Excessive Wear and Tear of the Crown
Just as original teeth can wear down with constant use, a dental crown made by man can also wear down with constant use especially if you tend to grind or clench your teeth frequently. A crown needs to be replaced if a small hole is detected on the chewing surface (where it comes in contact with another tooth at the time of chewing food). This is because food particles and plaque can enter through the hole and cause decay and a cavity.
A dental crown cannot decay, but the tooth under it can. If due to poor dental hygiene, plaque and food particles accumulate on the tooth at the edge of the crown, tooth decay and cavities may begin. It might then be necessary to remove the crown to remove the decay and work on the cavity. It would also be necessary to replace the dental crown with a new one.
Breaking of the Dental Crown
When a crown breaks, it’s generally the porcelain part of it that breaks. A dental crown might be made fully of porcelain or it might be metal that covers the tooth with a layer of porcelain fused over the metal. If the crown is made fully of porcelain, the break would be through the complete thickness of the crown. This can compromise the seal of the crown thus allowing plaque and food particles to reach the tooth.
It would also be difficult to chew with a broken dental crown and a replacement crown would be required. If the crown consists of both metal and porcelain, the break would chip off the porcelain and expose the metal under it. Aesthetically, this would not be ideal and the crown would have to be replaced.
Cost of Replacing a Dental Crown
Replacing a dental crown is expensive and can cost between $800 and $1,000 per tooth. You should follow your dentist’s advice with respect to taking care of your dental crown in order to delay its replacement for as long as possible.