I have 4 crowns; my first NHS crown dates back to 1986. I was thinking of replacing it but when xray'd last week the image was healthy. Please can you tell me if I can expect the crown to survive much longer?
How Long Can One Expect a Crown to Last?
Doctor Answers 3
How long can crowns last?
No dentist would be able to give you any accurate estimation as to how long your crown will last, especially if he hasn't personally evaluated and examined your crown.
There are crowns that last a lifetime! Certainly that is the goal of most dentists, although dentists cannot ever guarantee that they will be able to achieve that. Insurance companies will replace most crowns if they are at least five years old, however they usually ask to document the reason for the replacement.
The most important reason for replacing a crown is if there is leakage or decay around the crown. Another reason is that it is worn out or the porcelain on top of it has broken off. Other reasons is drifting of the crown, opening up the contact between the teeth that allows food to pack in and irritate the gums, and recession of the gums around the crown margin. However, if a crown just loosens up, but there is not other defect, it is often perfectly acceptable to just clean it and the tooth off, and recement the crown.
Crowns last until they fail
There is no time that they last until..meaning, they don't fail at a certain time. Durability of the materials, degree of home care by the patient, salivary pH, regularity of dental preventive visits by the patient, use of tooth-strengthening fluoride and the health of the tooth and bone all make an impact on longevity of a crown. That being said, we expect 5 years minimally, ten years most times and for a good success we expect over 20 years. I know that I made crowns on my mother and father right out of dental school in 1976 and they were still functional and working for them in 2012. I see many elderly patients who have 30-50 year old crowns. I also see a number of young folks who have five year old crowns that have decayed, fractured or been lost to gum disease....go figure why some last and some don't...it's all in the total picture, not just one factor.
How long do crowns last?
I am often asked this question and my answer is it could last you a lifetime but it depends on many factors such as, your bite, meaning the way your upper and lower teeth make contact, material the crown is made of, the cement, your home care, frequency of dental check ups, and your susceptiblity to getting cavities.