Dental crowns are some of the most common tooth restorations in the world. If you don’t have one yourself you probably know at least one person who does! With all the dental crowns out there it’s surprising to hear how many people assume incorrect information about them.
The most common misconception is how long they last: the average patient doesn’t consider that crowns have a life expectancy of about 15 years! At our Carmel dentist office we want all our patients to know the ins and outs of dental crowns and their potential problems. Knowing what could happen can help make sure that it never does!
The Aging Of Your Dental Crowns
Every dental crown starts off its life by being permanently cemented over a damaged tooth. The goal of a crown is to restore the function that was lost to tooth damage, and also to protect it from further harm. Crowns are great at that, but there’s still things that can go wrong, just like with any dental restoration.
As a crown ages the potential for problems gets greater and greater. An aging crown can break, wear out, and even just fall off! Proper care can make your crown last much longer, and even keep it alive past its 15 years, if you know what to watch out for.
Tooth Decay: It Gets Everywhere!
Oral bacteria is the constant thorn in the side of all your oral health plans. It will always find a way into the tightest, tiniest spots of your mouth and will end up causing decay in all sorts of places that are hard to notice – including under dental crowns.
The biggest threat to decay under your crowns is gum disease.When oral bacteria ends up under your gumline it causes infection, inflammation, bleeding in the gums, and eventual gum recession. That gum recession is usually how bacteria ends up infiltrating a crown, but it can also worm its way in before recession, since it’s getting exposure to the protected parts of your teeth while under your gums.
Decay under a crown is a huge problem for a variety of reasons. First off, it’s really hard to notice it. In many cases a decay-infested crown doesn’t show up until the crown falls completely off, often taking part of the tooth with it!
Decay under crowns can also lead to such severe tooth damage that there’s no way to reattach the crown. In that case you’re only left with one option, really: extraction.
Keeping decay out from under your crowns requires good oral hygiene along with regular dental care so that we can keep your crown free of hidden oral bacteria.
Crown Breakdown: Because Nothing Lasts Forever
That 15 year figure is just an average for crowns. It’s entirely possible for them to wear out well before the 15 year mark, which is why you have to keep an eye on them as they age. There are a number of things that can happen to crowns that leads to them failing, and some of them are really hard to stop!
- Chips and cracks in a crown can weaken its structure, making fracture possible. If a crown fractures you’ll need to have it replaced right away!
- The cement that holds your crown on can wear away too, especially if the crown doesn’t fit snugly enough. When cement on a crown wears off you can end up with decay, or even a crown that pops off when you least expect it. Don’t treat a lost crown like it isn’t a big deal: the tooth underneath it needs the crown to stay safe!
- An injury, accident, or even just grinding your teeth can weaken a crown or make it fall out prematurely. If you have had any serious trauma to the area of a dental crown it might seem just fine, but it isn’t a bad idea to make an appointment so we can be sure of it!
Crowns Can Help, But They Need Your Support
There isn’t much more in the dental world that is as reliable as a crown. They’re a tried and true restoration that has worked for countless people, and quite possibly for you too. You can trust your crown to do its job, but don’t neglect it or it’ll have a much harder time keeping your tooth safe!
If you’re concerned about the condition of your dental crown don’t hesitate to contact our Carmel office. We want to make sure it lasts as long as it can, and stays in good shape the entire time.
We’re always here to answer questions, so call us today at 317-451-4050. You can also request a crown checkup appointment by filling out our online request form.