That is the 64 million dollar question that I often get asked by patients considering a dental crown as part of my recommended treatment, or, more often, by new patients that have come to me because of a crown failure.
The answer to the question is not precise. It’s like the new car advertisements that emphasise a vehicle’s economy and efficiency.
At the end they always include the phrase, “Your mileage may vary.” It’s the same with dental crowns.
A crown that is properly installed, with the appropriate materials, by a skilled, dental professional, and subsequently given proper oral maintenance should last for many years, even decades, potentially for the lifetime of the patient.
Of course, as with most things that involve human beings, there are no guarantees of perfect results, and dental crowns are no different.
Factors that Determine Dental Crown Longevity
- Location of the tooth (rear, front)
- Condition of the original tooth under the crown
- Grinding or clenching
- Oral hygiene and care of the crowned tooth
- Harmful habits (chewing ice, fingernails, removing bottle caps)
- Materials used (gold, zirconia, porcelain fused to metal, etc.)
- Proper manufacture of the crown
- Full or partial crown
- Periodontal health (gum disease)
- External trauma (accidents)
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to consider. Many insurance companies will pay for a crown to be replaced if failure occurs after 5 to 8 years.
This leads many dentists to say that a crown should last from 5 to 15 years, so as to not mislead patients into thinking that their crowns are indestructible or eternal.
However, studies show that …
- When dental crowns are the optimum solution for the dental problem,
- When crowns are manufactured well, using the appropriate materials,
- When installed properly by a dedicated, expert professional, and
- When diligent patient home care is consistently practised
Dental crowns can last for decades or indefinitely
One study tracked the success rate of 2,340 crowns installed by one specialist. It showed that at 10 years, the success rate was 97% (2270 crowns that lasted over a decade).
At 25 years, the success rate was 85%. That’s 1,989 out of 2,340 crowns that lasted over 25 years (Walton, 2013).
This shows that given proper crown materials and manufacturing, and expert installation, chances for long-term success are very high.
There is that 3% at 10 years, and 15% at 25 years that did fail for one reason or another.
That should remind us that long-term success is not a certainty and that we should take proper care of our teeth, especially those with dental crowns.
Guiding Principles for Dental Crown Treatment at Precision Dental
Proper Diagnosis: Dental crowns are not always the best solution. I only recommend them if I’m certain that it is the best long-term solution with the highest chance for successful treatment.
Proper Materials: Depending on the location of the tooth or teeth to be treated, the aesthetic desires and bite characteristics of the patient, I will recommend the appropriate material and construction of the crown.
I often recommend zirconia for its extreme durability, but it is not always the appropriate choice. The needs and desires of the patient are always thoroughly examined before deciding which materials will be best for his or her unique situation.
Expert Installation: I have been installing dental crowns for over 10 years and I’m acutely aware of all of the factors involved in a successful procedure.
I make sure the tooth surface is dry and properly textured before placing the crown.
I use only the finest cements available and I mix them myself to ensure that it is done properly.
At Precision Dental, we strive to provide a virtually pain-free experience, no matter what treatment is being performed.
Home Care: We will train you in the highest level of oral hygiene for your dental crown (and all of your teeth). Proper home care is crucial for your crown’s longevity. The healthier your mouth is, the better your chances of having a problem free dental crown for many, many years.
Long-lasting Dental Crown Treatment at Precision Dental
Here at Precision Dental, we use the most modern technology available and employ the highest standards when it comes to tooth repair and aesthetic improvements.
Be assured that you will get the finest and longest lasting treatment possible.
Call us on (07) 3852 1160 or visit us at S13, HQ South Tower, 520 Wickham St in Fortitude Valley.