Female doctor with crown winking

ORAL HEALTH & DENTISTRY

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?

Written By : Generations of Smiles Writers

Reviewed By : Charles Rodgers, DDS

Published: Jul 18, 2023

Updated: Jul 18, 2023

Dental crowns cover, protect, and restore a damaged tooth when a typical filling cannot. A crown can last for years depending on multiple factors — mostly, how well the individual cares for their mouth.

How Long Does a Dental Crown Last?

People wonder how long a crown should last on a tooth. Can it last over 50 years, or even a lifetime? A crown can last an average of 5-15 years. When properly cared for, a crown can last even longer. Several of the biggest factors affecting a crown’s lifespan are how well a person practices oral hygiene habits, the typical daily wear and tear of the crown usually resulting from eating, and the quality of the crown's materials and placement.

A dental crown can last 5-15 years. When properly cared for, it can last even longer

How Long Does a Temporary Crown Last?

A temporary crown is a cap shaped like a tooth placed to protect a natural tooth or implant until a permanent crown is prepared and cemented into place. The temporary crown will be in place typically for two to three weeks. The length of time depends on the dental procedure that requires a crown, like covering an implant, a root canal, or a repaired tooth. It can be used for a single tooth or a bridge over multiple implants or teeth.

Oral care for a temporary crown needs to be more delicate than usual so as not to dislodge it. That is especially important for flossing. You’ll also want to brush more gently around the temporary crown area.

Factors Affecting Dental Crown Lifespan

Multiple factors affect how long a crown should last, including what type of material the crown is made from, placement of the crown, poor oral hygiene practices, and more. Here are the factors to consider:
These factors affect dental crown's lifespan infographic

Material of the Crown

Crowns are made from various materials, including metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, resin, porcelain, ceramic, or pressed ceramic. 

  • Metal crowns, typically made of chromium, gold, nickel, and palladium, tend to last the longest since they rarely break or chip and can withstand pressures from biting and chewing.
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns have a more natural tooth color appearance, but the porcelain can break off or chip.
  • Resin crowns can wear down and are more likely to break than porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns.
  • Porcelain and ceramic crowns aren’t as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. However, a pressed ceramic crown will last longer than an all-porcelain crown.

Bite and Chewing Forces

Like the effects of bruxism, biting and chewing too hard can damage the crown. The crown can crack or break and require dental treatment to replace it.

Poor Oral Hygiene Practices

Poor oral hygiene can wreak havoc on teeth and gums, eventually resulting in gum disease. Symptoms of gum disease include:

Pre-existing Dental Conditions

Certain pre-existing dental conditions can also affect the tooth under the crown. Some of those conditions include the following:
  • Tooth infections
  • Decay beneath the crown
  • Tooth fracture beneath the crown
  • Bruxism

Quality of the Crown Placement

A dental crown should fit your mouth’s bite pattern just like a natural tooth. If your bite feels “off,” then the crown wasn’t set correctly. That can cause jaw pain and headaches. If you feel pain when you bite down, that indicates that the crown was probably set too high on the tooth.

Prolonging the Life of a Dental Crown

There are plenty of steps folks can take to prolong the lifespan of their dental crown. Many of them are simple, common-sense measures like practicing good oral care and avoiding foods that can damage a crown.
tips to prolong the life of a crown infographic

Good Oral Hygiene Practices

A good oral hygiene regimen includes brushing at least twice a day, for two minutes at a time, using a soft-bristled brush. Be sure to pay attention to the gum line. 

After brushing, floss your teeth daily to remove food particles and plaque. Also, consume a balanced diet while limiting sugary snacks and beverages. Don’t forget to schedule regular appointments with your dentist too.

Avoiding Certain Foods and Habits

Avoid chewing sticky foods such as caramel, gum, and chewy candies. These can negatively impact the crown’s lifespan by pulling at it. Also, avoid chewing hard foods that can break, crack, or damage a crown. These foods include popcorn kernels, hard raw vegetables like carrots and celery, hard candies, and ice. It is also not recommended to bite inanimate objects like fingernails. Lastly, don’t try to open bottles with your teeth. 

Use a Mouthguard for Teeth Grinding or Clenching

Clenching and grinding cause forceful trauma. Repeating either action regularly can cause an existing dental crown to chip or crack, thus, necessitating a replacement. Many people often don’t know when they clench or grind their teeth since it commonly occurs when you’re sleeping. In that case, consult your dentist about obtaining a custom-made form-fitted mouthguard to wear when sleeping. This not only protects the crown but protects the remaining natural teeth from harm too.

Regular Dental Cleanings and Check-ups

Seeing a dentist for regular cleanings and check-ups is an important aspect of any oral care regimen. A professional cleaning provides a much better quality of care than brushing on your own. Just as critical is the oral exam of your mouth conducted by your dentist. Your dentist will look for any mouth health issues, like issues with dental implants, cavities, gingivitis, and more. Finding dental issues early is the key to keeping them from becoming a larger concern.

Promptly Address any Dental Issues or Concerns

If you suspect an issue with an existing crown or any problem that might require dental services, don’t wait. Schedule a dental appointment as quickly as possible. Your dentist can diagnose the issue and perform the proper corrective action.

Find a Dentist Near Me

Consult your dentist to discuss any questions about how long should a crown last. Or, check out our Find a Dentist tool to find a dentist near you for all your mouth health needs. You can read patient reviews, peruse staff bios, and schedule an appointment online with a click of your mouse.

 

Find your trusted, local dentist today!

 
 

Sources

  • Bader, James, Summary review of the survival of single crowns, February 2009, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/19146146/
  • Hecht, Marjorie, How to Care for a Temporary Crown, Healthline, December 12, 2019, https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-care-for-a-temporary-crown
  • Marks, Julie, What Causes Dental Crown Tooth Pain and How to Relieve It, Healthline, June 22, 2020, https://www.healthline.com/health/what-causes-dental-crown-tooth-pain-and-how-to-relieve-it#causes
  • Brushing and Beyond: Key Oral Health Tips for Anyone with a Smile, American Dental Association, https://www.mouthhealthy.org/oral-health-recommendations

Smile Generation blog articles are reviewed by a licensed dental professional before publishing. However, we present this information for educational purposes only with the intent to promote readers’ understanding of oral health and oral healthcare treatment options and technology. We do not intend for our blog content to substitute for professional dental care and clinical advice, diagnosis, or treatment planning provided by a licensed dental professional. Smile Generation always recommends seeking the advice of a dentist, physician, or other licensed healthcare professional for a dental or medical condition or treatment. 

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