Dental crowns are typically the recommended treatment if your tooth is damaged but not lost. If you’ve had a root canal, a broken tooth, or a large filling, a crown is used to cover the tooth. It’s a fairly simple and pain-free procedure that restores the tooth and protects it from further damage. When patients require a dental crown, one of their first questions is, how long do crowns last after a root canal, a filling, or with a broken tooth?
The different types of dental crowns
To answer this question, we must first start by introducing the different types of dental crowns. Crowns, sometimes called caps, are made with different materials or a combination of materials.
- Composite crowns are made from a composite resin material that is colour-matched to the natural teeth. This material tends to wear more quickly and over time, brushing can remove the polish.
- Porcelain crowns look the most natural and are often placed in front teeth. Because they tend to be more brittle than composite, they are not usually placed on the back teeth.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are the strongest and most natural-looking option. Unlike composite and porcelain, they won’t chip as easily.
Can a dental crown last a lifetime?
While crowns are strong, their average lifespan is about 10 years. With proper oral care, crowns can last longer than 10 years. However, they may need to replaced sooner depending on how well they are maintained. To help lengthen the life of your dental crown, we recommend:
- Brushing and flossing daily
- Avoiding hard candy or sticky food
- Seeing your dentist for routine cleaning and check-ups
Signs that a dental crown needs replacing
A crown is typically used to protect the tooth underneath. Prolonging a dental crown replacement can lead to damage that is costly and more painful to fix. If you notice the following signs, it’s important to inform your dentist as soon as possible:
- You experience pain or swelling at the site of your dental crown
- Your gum line is receding
- You notice visible wear and tear on your crown
- Your crown is damaged
By maintaining regular check-ups, your dentist can also identify whether your crown is still aesthetically pleasing and make a decision based on the age of your crown. Some dentists recommend a crown replacement if it is ten years old or older and no longer matches your surrounding teeth.