Porcelain crowns are a popular long-term treatment used by dentists to repair damaged or decayed teeth. If you’re considering porcelain crowns, you may be wondering how long they last. Here’s an in-depth look at porcelain dental crowns at Rutherford College, including their longevity and steps you can take to extend their lifespan.
What are Dental Crowns?
Dental crowns, also known as caps or veneers, are custom-made coverings that fit over an existing tooth. The crown gives the tooth its original size, shape, and strength. Crowns can be made of metal, ceramic, resin, or porcelain.
Porcelain is a glass-like material that can be color-matched to your natural teeth for a seamless, attractive appearance. The porcelain crowns imitate the light-reflecting properties of natural tooth enamel better than other materials.
There are several reasons your Rutherford College dentist may recommend a porcelain crown:
- Repair a cracked, broken, or worn down tooth
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing or further damage
- Restore a tooth after root canal therapy
- Cover severely discolored or misshapen teeth
- Act as anchor for a dental bridge
- Generally improve the look of smile
How Long Do Porcelain Crowns Last?
With good oral care and routine dental visits, porcelain crowns typically last 10-15 years or longer. Some porcelain crowns on front teeth can last over 30 years if well-cared for. However, many factors affect their longevity, including:
Crown material: Crowns made of porcelain fused with metal are very durable and tend to last the longest. All ceramic crowns are prone to chipping over time.
Location in the mouth: Front crowns last longer than back crowns since they experience less force from chewing.
Oral habits: Clenching, grinding teeth, or chewing on hard items can quickly wear down crowns.
Oral hygiene: Poor brushing and flossing leads to decay, which damages the crown and tooth.
Dental visits: Regular cleanings and checkups are essential to catch problems early.
Quality of fit: Properly fitted crowns distribute bite force evenly and last longer.
While porcelain itself is very strong, poor oral hygiene and deeper tooth or gum issues can shorten its lifespan. With diligent home care and professional cleanings every six months, porcelain crowns can serve you well for over a decade.
The Porcelain Crown Procedure
Getting a porcelain crown requires two visits to your Rutherford College dentist:
- The damaged tooth is filed down to accommodate the size of the crown. Your dentist takes a mold of the tooth that is prepared.
- The tooth is covered with a temporary crown while the permanent crown is being prepared.
- The new custom porcelain crown is tested for proper fit, shape, and color match. It is then cemented into place.
- Local anesthesia is often used for comfort. Your bite may feel slightly different after the procedure.
- The process usually takes two to three hours in total over a two-week period.
Caring for Porcelain Crowns
While durable, porcelain crowns can chip or break if subjected to heavy biting forces. Avoid chewing excessively hard foods or opening packages with your teeth.
Practice excellent oral hygiene to prevent decay beneath the crown:
- Brush gently twice a day.
- Floss around crowns daily.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash.
- See your dentist for exams/cleanings every 6 months.
With proper home care and regular dental visits, porcelain crowns can be an excellent, long-term solution for damaged or unsightly teeth. To know more about porcelain dental crowns at Rutherford College, call 828-874-3678 and find out if porcelain crowns are suitable for your smile.