How Long Do Zirconia Crowns Last
A dental crown is a dental restoration that covers the entire visible surface of the tooth to save it from extensive decay or fracture, or a tooth that has been compromised due to a root canal treatment. A tooth that needs a crown but is not treated is at risk of failure and can eventually need to come out. A simple crown can help patients avoid extraction and implant surgery for several years, possibly even a lifetime!
Different Types of Crowns and Their Longevity
The length of time a crown can last depends on the type of crown and how well it is cared for. Typically, a crown can last about 10 years but often have the ability to last 20 years, or even a lifetime. Your dentist will evaluate the tooth being treated and take into consideration where it is in your mouth and what type of material will provide the best results for your individual case. They will also consider how much of the natural tooth will be remaining once the decay is removed and if the crown will be visible when you smile.
Let’s take a closer look at the most commonly used crowns and their expected longevity.
Zirconia crowns are made from zirconium dioxide which is a type of material related to titanium. Zirconia crowns are incredibly strong and resistant to fracture. With proper oral care and regular visits to the dentist, zirconia crowns can easily last 15 to 20 years.
Porcelain fused to metal
Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM) crowns are a popular type of crown that have a base layer of metal covered with a porcelain overlay. The are best suited to the posterior teeth because over time, the underlying metal can begin to show at the gum line. On average, PFM crowns can be expected to last from 5-15 years.
Gold is a great material due to its strength, ability to fit the tooth perfectly, and it's resistant to chipping and cracking. Gold crowns have a 95% survival rate over a span of 10 years but with proper care, can last for decades. The drawback to gold crowns is their unnatural appearance since they are unable to be color matched with the rest of your teeth. For this reason, dentists typically consider gold crowns for molars which are not visible when you smile.
What can affect the lifespan of a crown?
The lifespan of a crown can vary depending on the type of material used and your oral hygiene habits. To get the most out of your investment, you should maintain a good oral care routine of brushing at least twice a day with a soft-bristled toothbrush, flossing at least once a day, and having your teeth professionally cleaned at least every six months.
Other factors that can affect the lifespan of a crown include:
- Type of crown: The quality of the material and how well it is made.
- Dentist's expertise: How well the tooth is prepared and how they took the impression or scanned the tooth for fabricating the crown can also make a difference in the life of the crown.
- Health of the affected tooth: If the tooth was relatively healthy with longer roots and healthier surrounding gum and bone levels, both the crown and the tooth will likely have a better prognosis.
- Bruxism: This is the unconscious clenching and grinding of your teeth that a lot of us do in our sleep. It can wear down the surface of the crown and compromise its stability. This can be solved by wearing a night guard to bed!