Crown Longevity

How long do crowns last? Sure many of them come with 5 or 10 or 25 year guarantees, but that is just how long the manufacturer guarantees that there will be no problems, or they will get you another one. It is not actually a statement as to how long they last. And what about the fact that when crowns go, they often result in a dental emergency, and that they frequently cause damage on the way out? Can this be prevented? 

Crown emergencies

Frequently, emergencies involving a dental crown are due to the fact that the crown s still good, but is on its way out. Crowns, just like all other things on this world, deteriorate over time, and eventually become too deteriorated to carry on, at which point they fail, break, pop off, or otherwise stop serving their function. This is often painful because the tooth underneath it is alive, but needs the crown to shield the nerve from the outside world, to which it reacts by generating pain. Crowns may also damage you because when they break, they frequently have jutting, pointy bits, that are now exposed to your teeth and soft tissues, and may actually end up hurting them when you bite down, chew or swallow and bring your jaws together. If they pop off, they may also have been shielding the remains of a dead tooth, which will now likely get infected, inflamed or otherwise hurt. These cases are dental emergencies, and instead of having to deal with terrible pain, you should instead read on and get to know your crown! 

Crown structures

All dental crowns, regardless of price,materials or anything else, are built and thus arranged in a very similar order. They come with an internal structure, which is like a frame made out of usually metal, but can be made out of various hard materials. These need to be hard so that they can support the internal structures, which are invariably tooth colored porcelain that is baked onto the internal structure by spending days at high temperatures in a special oven that is built just to bake porcelain.

Usually, when crowns break, the porcelain outer shell is what comes of, and the internal structure is exposed. This will leave jagged pieces of porcelain in the mouth, which is prone to causing accidents. If the internal structure breaks, you now have sharp ends of a pretty hard material sticking out into the mouth, and this is even more dangerous. 

What to do

You should check your crowns every six months after 5 years. Usually, crowns on average last around 15 years, but they start their inevitable decline after 5 years. The damage your crowns are seeing may be minimal, but sometimes the internal structure may be affected, and you may be dealing with a broken crown before you know it! 

If you have crowns, it is extremely important that you keep your half year checkups, and have the dentist who put the crowns in see them twice a year. The dentist will see if the material is starting to die and thin out, and will be able to prevent crown emergencies from happening.

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