How Long Do Zirconia Crowns Last

Dental crowns are dental restorations that restore the size, shape, and function of a damaged tooth, capping the damaged structure with a protective, lifelike shell. Dental crowns aren’t made to last forever, though there are many steps patients can take to extend the life expectancy of a dental crown. The lifespan of a crown is influenced, in part, by the material used to make the crown and on its position in the mouth, but habits, hygiene, and behaviors can have a big impact on how long dental crowns last. On average, the lifespan of a dental crown is around ten years, though some crowns could last for decades. Your dentist will decide which type of crown is recommended for your specific clinical needs, including the location of the tooth, the extent of damage to the tooth, and how much of the tooth is visible when you eat or smile. Factors to consider include aesthetics and the strength and durability of the material. Because of its superior strength and its lifelike appearance, many patients choose zirconia dental crowns when they’re presented as an option.

While zirconia crowns are categorized as ceramic, they’re actually made of a metal oxide derived from zirconium, a strong, biocompatible material that’s in the same family as titanium. Because they are so strong, zirconia crowns are highly resistant to fracture; certain types of zirconia crowns have been demonstrated to be the type of crown that is least likely to break when exposed to high impact and forces. With thorough, effective oral hygiene and the proper care, zirconia dental crowns can easily last as long as 15 years, if not longer. Of course, any effective oral hygiene routine should involve brushing the teeth at least twice a day with a soft toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste, combined with daily flossing and routine visits to the dentist for an examination and cleaning. It’s equally important to treat your teeth well; avoid using them to open bottles or packages, and avoid habitually chewing ice or non-food items. If you habitually grind or clench your teeth, which often happens unconsciously when people are sleeping, ask your dentist to recommend or provide a mouthguard that you can wear while you sleep.

The preparation methods for zirconia crowns can also affect their longevity, and highly skilled dentists generally create more durable crowns. If a crown isn’t fitted properly, for example, its life expectancy will be shortened as it bears the disproportionate forces of an improperly sized tooth. Additionally, dental impressions made with digital scanners often allow more precise design than those made with impression trays, and the use of these technologies improves with experience. Of course, the health of the crowned tooth and the gums and bone that surround the crown will also affect the long-term success of the crown, as well as the prognosis for the tooth itself. Dentists might use a zirconia crown to restore a tooth that has broken or cracked, to protect a weakened or decayed tooth from cracking or breaking, to protect a compromised tooth after a root canal treatment, or to support a dental bridge, and the purpose of the dental crown will also influence its longevity. The only way to know for sure that it’s time to replace a dental crown is with a dental examination and dental x-rays, and your dentist will check your crown at each dental visit and let you know if it’s time for a new one.

What are Zirconia Crowns