Dental crowns are one of the most effective and time-tested means of restoring a tooth. They are also quite versatile since they can be utilized for a variety of circumstances in patients of all ages. Dental crowns can be both cosmetic and restorative in nature. They are used when a tooth has been damaged beyond what a dental filling can repair (either due to trauma or decay). Crowns can also be used as implant restorations to replace missing teeth. In some cases, dental crowns are placed to strengthen a tooth after it has undergone a root canal.
Modern dentistry has advanced the function, durability and appearance of crowns in significant ways. However, just like other dental restorations, crowns are not invincible, and they do not have an infinite lifespan. The average crown will last about 15 to 20 years, but unexpected damage or poor care can require crown replacement earlier.
How Can a Dental Crown Fail?
If you have had your crown for several years, you may need to watch for signs of failure. There are a variety of things that can warrant a crown replacement. If a crown needs to be replaced, it is important that you do it sooner rather than later to protect the health of your underlying tooth.
A crown can fail when the outer porcelain covering beings to separate from the inner metal structure or when the cement dissolves and no longer seals the tooth. Commonly, a new crown is needed due to the formation of a cavity along the margin or borders of the crown. The margins are where the crown meets the base of the tooth. Unfortunately, this area is especially difficult to keep clean. If bacteria invades this tiny space between the tooth and the crown, a cavity can develop in the underlying tooth. If the lesion of decay progresses to and invades the inside of the tooth, the tooth will need to be repaired and a replacement crown will be needed.
Warning Signs that You May Need a New Crown
How do you know if your crown is failing? It is not always clear that your old crown needs to be replaced, especially from the outside. However, there are some telltale symptoms that indicate your current crown is no longer doing its job of protecting your tooth or that your underlying tooth may been compromised. Be aware of the following and report them to your dentist promptly:
- Tooth sensitivity
- Painful chewing
- Bleeding gums
- Bad breath
- Crown movement
- Change in the feel of your bite
- Chipped or broken crown
Neglecting these symptoms regarding your dental crown can lead to serious consequences that go beyond simply replacing the crown. If disease or decay infiltrates the underlying tooth because your crown is failing, the tooth may be at risk for surviving and your overall oral health can be compromised. Not all changes or issues within your crown will mean it needs to be replaced, but it is best to let a dentist evaluate the condition of your crown as soon as possible if you are concerned.
Can a Chipped Crown Be Repaired?
Just like your natural teeth, your porcelain crown can chip under certain pressures, including ice chomping, teeth grinding or biting down on something too hard. If the chip is minor, your dentist may opt to use composite resin to “fill in” or repair the chip while the crown remains in your mouth. This may only be a temporary solution, however, and extensive chipping or breaks in a crown typically demand crown replacement.
Schedule Your Dental Crown Consultation
At Grateful Dental, we use the latest techniques, technology and materials in modern dentistry, especially when it comes to dental crowns. We always want your dental restorations to be comfortable, highly functional and attractive for as long as possible. If you are experiencing any problems with your crown, whether it has been 10 days or 10 years, please give us a call at our Marietta office so that we can address your concerns. Our team is also here to help you protect your dental crown and extend the lifespan of your restorative dentistry investment.