When Should a Dental Crown Be Replaced?
Today’s dental crowns are highly durable, but they are not designed to remain in place forever. In general, a crown can be expected to last between five and 15 years depending on the amount of wear and tear it sustains. Good oral hygiene habits, such as brushing twice a day, flossing daily – paying particular attention to the gum area around a crown – and rinsing with an antibacterial mouthwash at least once a day can help extend the lifespan of a crown.
Through regular checkups, a dentist can monitor the condition of a dental crown for signs that it may need to be replaced, such as:
A Change in Bite
When a crown is initially placed, it should fit securely and comfortably in the mouth, and the bite should feel normal. If the bite starts to feel uneven or otherwise “off,” the crown may have loosened or shifted. This can occur for a variety of reasons, such as trauma, tooth decay, clenching or grinding the teeth, or eating sticky foods. In some cases, a dentist may be able to re-cement the crown or make a simple adjustment; in others, the crown may need to be replaced.
If a crown was placed on a tooth that did not have root canal therapy, the nerves and connective tissue inside the tooth (pulp) are still alive. If an infection develops in the live pulp, it can cause severe tooth pain. It is important for a dentist to address these issues as soon as possible, which will likely entail replacing the crown as well.
If a crown’s seal loosens or breaks down, decay can develop in the underlying tooth structure. Decay forms when foods containing carbohydrates (sugars and starches) are left on the teeth. Bacteria that normally live in the mouth digest these carbohydrates and convert them into acids. Food debris, bacteria, acids, and saliva can bind together to form plaque, which clings to the tooth structure, dissolves its enamel surface, and creates cavities. If left untreated, the decay can progress into the pulp, necessitating root canal therapy and a crown replacement.
Contact Florida Dental Centers to Learn More
If you would like to learn more about crown replacement or schedule a dental checkup, contact Florida Dental Centers. At our office in Clearwater, FL, you can consult with an experienced dentist who can check your crown and perform a comprehensive assessment of your oral health.