Teeth that are chipped or cracked can be restored with a dental crown. These tooth-shaped caps cover the whole tooth, so they protect and strengthen any damaged teeth.
However, dental crowns can have problems when they get old. That’s because they’re not designed to last permanently. If you don’t get an old dental crown fixed, you could be facing cavities, infections, and worse.
That’s why you need to call our Hellertown, PA dental office today at 484-858-0949 and make a new appointment. Dr. Hunsicker-Morrissey and Dr. Garubba are both expertly trained in helping restore teeth with dental crowns, so they know how and why they can start to fail.
Dental Crowns Last But Not Forever
Normally, dental crowns last about 10-15 years. That can vary depending on how you treat your teeth. If you take it easy on that dental crown and keep up with your twice-yearly visits to Hellertown Dental Group, yours could last over 20 years.
But the opposite is also true. If you chew lots of tough foods (like ice and hard pretzels) and rarely visit the dentist, then it could start to fail much sooner. Some people will need to replace their dental crown after only five years like this no matter how well the dental crown procedure was done originally.
In the end, all dental crowns need help sooner or later. That’s simply because you need to use your teeth to chew repeatedly every day for your whole life. Even your natural teeth can get damaged this way. The older you get, the more likely your dental crown will start to give you problems.
Problems With Old Dental Crowns
What kind of problems? Here are the most common issues with an aging dental crown.
Your dental crown gets damaged or discolored.
Although dental crowns are very durable, so is enamel — and you need a dental crown when the enamel gets damaged, so it makes sense that dental crowns can get damaged as well. This often happens with an injury or accident, but it can also happen because the crown gets a little weak over time. Years and years of chewing food can slowly wear down the dental crown.
Your dental crown can also get discolored by the same things that affect your natural teeth. Just about any dark foods or drinks (tomato sauce, coffee, tea, and so on) can leave behind small stains and discolor your dental crown.
You get a cavity underneath your dental crown.
Dental crowns are bonded to teeth so they stay put. But as with any adhesive, it can start to deteriorate after so many years. You can get little grooves carved out of that bonding agent that allow bacteria to get through to your enamel.
When this happens, you can start to get a cavity below your dental crown. This is especially bad because you won’t know about it until there’s a big problem, like the bacteria infecting the inside of your tooth.
The dental crown get loose or comes off completely.
As that bonding agent begins to break down, your dental crown can start to feel loose. You can tell when that crown starts to wiggle a little bit on your tooth. Eventually, this will lead to that crown falling off entirely. Worse, this often happens when you are chewing or otherwise not ready for it to come off.
Getting Help For That Old Dental Crown
At Hellertown Dental Group, our dentists are highly experienced in working with dental crowns. They know how dental crowns fail — and how to correct it. Usually, this means getting a brand-new dental crown bonded firmly to your damaged tooth.
But how can you avoid this entirely? Simply put, you cannot. Again, dental crowns get old and give you problems. However, here’s how you can help your dental crown last longer.
- Don’t use your teeth as tools: Chewing food puts enough pressure on your teeth as it is. Using them to open packages or carry things just increases the chance something will go wrong.
- Brush twice each day and floss each night: Maintaining proper dental hygiene can control the harmful bacteria that could cause such “secret” cavities underneath your dental crown.
- Visit our Hellertown, PA dental office every six months for a dental exam: Regular dental exams from dentists who really understand how dental crowns work can help spot problems before they become drastic.