We wish there was a quick, straightforward answer to the question “how long do dental crowns last?”
But as with questions like how long does a marriage last or how long does it take to drive from Denver to Reno, the answer is… it varies.
Let’s Talk Averages
So let’s start talking some generalities and averages. Then from there we can dig a little deeper.
The typical range you’ll see for how long a dental crown will last is somewhere between 5 and 15 years.
This comes from a combination of official academic studies, dentists who place crowns and insurance companies.
The insurance company number is one to pay particular attention to. Because insurance companies hire really smart people who are good at math, statistics and probabilities.
And most insurance companies will pay for replacement crowns after 8 years. So, to them, 8 years is the magic number of years you should expect your crowns to last (at least).
Let’s look at this a little closer though. Because there are a number of factors that play into how long crowns last.
Probably at the top of the list is the material the crowns are made of.
Recent Study on How Long Dental Crowns Last
There was a fairly recent study that found the following…
Crowns made of gold made it to the 10 year mark 96% of the time.
90% of porcelain fused to metal crowns lasted 10 years.
All ceramic crowns brought up the rear with only 80% of them making it 10 years (though 80% is still pretty respectable!).
That study doesn’t tell the whole picture though. Because it was based on research papers published between 1974 and 2014.
Crowns have gotten better in recent years. Advances in the materials they’re made of and how they’re made have increased their longevity.
So if we’re just looking at crowns made more recently, the percentages from that study should be a bit higher.
Other Factors That Affect How Long Crowns Last
Here are a few other factors that affect how long your crowns last…
- Your bite force. (If you chomp down with the force of an angry mama alligator defending her nest, your crowns will wear down faster than normal.)
- Grinding or clenching your teeth regularly will wear crowns down faster than normal.
- Brushing and flossing. If you take good care of your teeth and crowns, they’ll last longer.
- How much of the original tooth was there when the crown was placed. The more underlying tooth available, in general, the better chance the crown will last longer.
- The talent level of your dentist. A crown that doesn’t fit well won’t last as long as once that fits like a glove.
So How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
Okay, with all that, let’s return to the question how long to dental crowns last?
Figure at least 5 – 8 years on the low end (assuming you don’t play hockey or take a shot to the mouth from a jilted ex-lover in that time).
But if you take good care of your mouth and crowns, there’s a good shot they’ll last you at least a decade or two.
To find a cosmetic dentist near you that specializes in dental crowns, search the listings here.