A dental crown is a tooth cap that your dentist places over a tooth that has been broken or has significant damage due to severely removed dental decay. A dental crown covers the entire tooth to the gumline and resembles the surrounding teeth in appearance if the crown is porcelain. Crowns also come in metal designs.
The average crown should last up to 15 years, depending on where the dentist placed the crown and how you care for the dental implant. Metal crowns, though less popular than flesh-colored porcelain, may last longer naturally. Tooth grinding and lack of dental care can make a crown have a shorter lifespan.
Eventually, your dentist will need to replace your crown. Your dentist will check your dental crown as part of your regular checkup. This guide will tell you what signs to look for in dental crown failure so you can make an appointment with your dentist for repair or replacement quickly.
Pain Around Your Crown
Your dental crown should fully protect the tender tooth underneath it. If your crown is cracked, broken, or loose, then pain or discomfort in the area surrounding the tooth will become noticeable.
Since the tooth underneath the crown is bare and especially susceptible to bacteria and decay, make an appointment with your dentist as soon as you notice swelling, tenderness, or pain in your dental crown. Depending on how severe the damage is to your dental crown, your dentist may be able to repair the crown rather than replace it entirely.
Change in Your Bite
If you receive a dental crown, this should not affect your bite. Your dentist should shape your dental crown to match the height of your surrounding teeth to keep your current bite normal. If you have jaw pain or experience issues with chewing food on the side of your mouth where your crown lies, then your dentist will need to inspect your dental crown.
If your crown affects your mouth's natural bite, your dentist will either reshape your crown to ease jaw tension and pain or replace the crown entirely. Your dentist will test your bite to see if you have high spots on your teeth that the dentist needs to address.
Aging or Dated Crown
Once a crown reaches around five years of age, consider replacing the crown for your oral health. However, if your crown has not bothered you for several years, you can keep the same crown as long as it doesn't wear down or cause nerve pressure in the protected tooth. If you grind your teeth, your crown will likely wear out sooner and need replacing more often.
A dated crown, or one that has metal components that don't match your teeth, can be an eyesore and affect your confidence in your smile. Talk to your dentist about replacing a gold or silver crown, especially if the crown is on a front tooth where the dental fixture is easily noticeable. Your dentist will fit you with a porcelain crown that matches the color of your teeth for a cosmetically pleasing result.
Most dental insurance companies will cover the costs to repair or replace a crown within five years, so don't hesitate to call your dentist if a younger crown gives you problems. Your dentist will examine your mouth and determine the health of your existing crown before performing any dental work.
A dental crown will protect your damaged tooth for many years and help prevent tooth loss and further decay. Continue seeing your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings even if your teeth appear fine. Our friendly staff at Heiden Dental Office is here to address all your dental concerns. Make an appointment with us today.