Dental crowns cover and protect damaged teeth. They are also used alongside dental bridges and dental implants. Dr. Kevin Trotter can answer your questions about the qualities of a good dental crown candidate, how to care for a dental crown, and how long crowns should last.View transcript
So a dental crown is a tooth replacement option where you still have your own tooth underneath the cap or the crown. So, if you have a fractured tooth, or you have a large restoration or a large cavity, or root canal possibly, you might need to have something protect the tooth to rebuild it to its normal, shape, size, and function, and also for aesthetics. They're made of porcelain, typically, in our office, which is a ceramic material that's very strong and durable and very highly aesthetic. Crowns can also be made of other materials, so we assess each case individually and see what the best solution would be for you. A patient would be a good candidate for a dental crown if they have a broken down tooth, or a root canal tooth, or a tooth that was treated with a root canal, or if they just don't have enough tooth structure to support a filling. A general rule of thumb is if 50% or more of your tooth is either missing due to a previous treatment, or fractures, or decay, most likely you're going to need some type of porcelain or ceramic restoration, whether that be a crown or some other alternative. So a dental crown requires the same care as a tooth, so you brush it and you floss it normally. It should function like a normal tooth. Generally speaking, a crown can last a very long time. I think the average crown lasts about 7 to 10 years. I'd say we want our crowns to last a lifetime, but a lot of it has to depend upon the patient as well.