A dental crown is meant to provide a long-lasting solution to preserve a tooth. Although it’s designed from durable materials to withstand daily wear and tear, your crown won’t last forever. It’s best to watch for symptoms that it’s starting to fail to prevent a small issue from turning into a dental emergency. Here are 5 early signs that it’s time to replace your crown.
Signs of Dental Crown Failure
The average lifespan of a dental crown is about 10 years, but it’s not unusual for restorations to last for much longer with the correct care, like brushing and flossing. Many factors affect the life expectancy of a restoration, like materials, location, and lifestyle habits. However, your crown will need to be replaced eventually. It’s best to contact your dentist if you experience:
- Receding Gum Line: If the area where your crown meets the gum line isn’t kept clean, gum disease can occur. The infection can destroy your gums and surrounding structures with no treatment. You can prevent it with good oral hygiene. Besides brushing and flossing, use an antimicrobial mouthwash daily.
- Pain or Swelling: Although crowns can’t get cavities, your underlying tooth is still vulnerable to decay. You can have pain when placing pressure on your tooth. If the pain is persistent or you develop swelling, your tooth might be infected. Limiting your sugar consumption and visiting your dentist regularly can keep your smile cavity-free.
- Visible Damage: Your crown can start to show its age. Any visible damage should be looked at by your dentist to determine if it’s severe enough to warrant a new restoration. You can prevent damaging your restoration by wearing a nightguard if you grind and clench your teeth. Limit hard or chewy foods and keep inedible objects out of your mouth.
- Loose or Falls Off: A crown can lose its bond with your tooth, especially if it is older than 10 years. Your crown should be replaced as soon as possible. Never try to glue or cement your crown back onto your tooth because bacteria can be trapped underneath it. Some glues and adhesives can cause allergic reactions and contain toxic ingredients. It’s better to leave the mending for professionals.
- Unattractive: Older dental crowns can stick out like a sore thumb. Whether metal restorations or porcelain fused to metal, they can affect the aesthetics of your smile. Your dentist can replace old restorations with all-ceramic crowns to enjoy natural-looking results.
Visit your dentist every 6 months for a cleaning and checkup. They’ll examine your crown at each appointment to look for anything concerning.
About Dr. Jeff Yenzer
Dr. Yenzer earned his dental degree from the University of Missouri in Kansas City. He has regularly pursued continuing education in various specialties, like endodontics, dental implants, and cosmetic dentistry. If it’s time for a new crown, request an appointment through our website or call (636) 549-8020.