A dental crown is a simple procedure that places a tooth-shaped “cap” over a malformed or broken tooth to restore its strength and appearance. Crowns are made from a variety of materials including ceramic, metals and porcelain composites.
Even though they can greatly improve the appearance of teeth, crowns are used for more than just cosmetic reasons. They can be used to salvage a tooth that has been badly damaged, can support and protect weak teeth, and can also be used to anchor other dental appliances by providing the necessary framework to secure bridges or dentures.
Reasons for crowns (caps):
- Broken or fractured teeth
- Cosmetic enhancement
- Decayed teeth
- Fractured fillings
- Large fillings
- Tooth has a root canal
How long is a dental crown expected to last?
Contrary to popular belief, dental crowns don’t last forever. But with good care, they can last a long time! Current research shows that more than 90% of crowns will not require major treatment within five years, and 50% to 80% of crowns will last between 15 and 20 years.
It’s important to remember that just like a “real” tooth, the life of your crown depends on how you care for it. You should continue to follow good dental hygiene practices including brushing twice a day, flossing, and seeing your dentist on a regular basis.
Can a dental crown get a cavity?
The crown itself will not decay, but the remaining tooth beneath the crown can decay just like any other tooth. Decay can start at the junction between the crown and tooth. Once it starts moving up under your crown, it’s very difficult, if not impossible, to remove the decay. Proper flossing and brushing along with regular hygiene care is important to preserve your crown.
Bridges are often an excellent alternative when only a few of your teeth are missing. A bridge is simply a restoration that spans between two of your natural teeth. These teeth act as fixed points to anchor the bridge and provide stability. Crowns and bridges are excellent options for a variety of tooth restoration situations.