How long do dental crowns last?

A dental crown is a hollow dental prosthetic that is used to cover a damaged tooth. Crowns look like teeth and restore the natural tooth’s shape. Crowns can be used to protect decaying teeth or correct misshapen or chipped teeth. A tooth with a crown looks and functions just like the real thing.

One of the most common questions we hear from patients is “how long do crowns last?” That depends. How much wear and tear is the crown going through? Does the person maintain oral hygiene?


How long do crowns last on front teeth? The same as they would on any other teeth – so long as you treat them right.


How long do crowns last?

Crowns are made of different materials, as will be explained below. Each material has its benefits – and longevity. However, crowns are strong and if looked after can last decades. It is usual to expect a lifespan of 10 years at a minimum, with some lasting as long as 30 years!

Porcelain crowns – These look the most natural but are also brittle. However, they can chip more easily compared to composite and metal crowns. It’s why porcelain crowns are not generally used on molars and premolars (teeth used from grinding and chewing).

Composite crowns – Composite crowns are popular because they look natural. They resist chipping far more than porcelain crowns but can discolor over time with brushing and the wear and tear that comes with chewing.

Metal crowns – Metal crowns are some of the strongest available. They neither chip nor break, however their color does not match that of natural teeth.

Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns – These are the Goldilocks of crowns – they appear natural and are stronger than composite or porcelain crowns, resisting chips and breaks.


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How do you when a crown needs to be replaced?

Dental crowns don’t need to be replaced simply because they are old. However, here are few reasons why crowns may need to be replaced:

  • Broken or discolored crowns
  • Chip or crack in the crown
  • Decay in the underlying tooth


How can you make your crown last longer?

Think of crowns like teeth and treat them with the same care that you show your teeth. Here are a few ways you can make your crown last longer.

Don’t chew or bite hard foods – Chewing ice, hard candy and hard nuts can damage crowns. Even biting fingernails can chip the crown.

Don’t clench or grind teeth – Avoid gnawing and clenching your jaw. It can break the crown; natural teeth opposite a metal crown can get damaged too. If you do this unconsciously at night, consider getting a mouthguard.

Maintain dental hygiene – Brush twice a day and floss regularly to make sure you minimize the risk of decay. Be mindful to keep the gum line clean as it will keep the area under the crown from decaying.

Visiting the dentist regularly – There is no substitute for a professional evaluation of your crown is doing. A dental professional monitors the condition of the crown and makes sure the tooth underneath does not develop cavities and the crown is functioning as intended.


Do you need a new crown? At Dawson Dental you will find crowns of materials and shades to suit your tooth color. Our dental professionals understand that every procedure has a physical as well as emotional effect and we work to make sure you are comfortable and satisfied with your crown. Schedule a video consultation with a dentist today.