Signs that Your Dental Crown Needs to be Replaced
While dental crowns have an average lifespan of about ten to fifteen years, each crown is different and may need to be evaluated for replacement or repair earlier than this. A dentist will be able to examine your mouth and the crown in question in order to determine whether it should be replaced earlier or later than this average timeframe. You may want to schedule an appointment with a dentist to have your crown evaluated if:
Your Gum Line Is Recedin
Because bacteria are more likely to gather around a tooth with a crown than to colonize a natural tooth, having a dental crown may increase the risk of gum disease. While good oral hygiene and the use of antibacterial mouthwash can help prevent gum complications, it’s still a good idea to check with your dentist if you notice a receding gum line. This could be a signal that your crown is placed improperly or needs to be replaced entirely.
You Experience Pain or Swelling
As soon as you notice pain, swelling, or inflammation surrounding a crowned tooth, it’s time to see a dentist. For example, if you notice increased pain or sensitivity when chewing, your crown could be too high on the tooth, damaged, old, or in need of replacement.
You Notice Wear and Tear on Your Crown
Over time, you may notice that your crown appears worn down. This occurs with particular frequency in those who grind their teeth. Wear and tear might be an indication of the crown’s age, but it could also be a sign of something more severe such as bruxism or chronically poor oral hygiene. Check with your dentist to determine whether or not there is an underlying cause for the wear and if it is severe enough to require a new crown.
Your Crown is Damaged
Dental crowns may be fashioned from varying metals or from porcelain, and the materials used for crowns has developed over time to become sturdier and more aesthetically pleasing. Crowns made from porcelain or crowns which contain a porcelain component fused to metal are more likely to chip or crack. A dentist will be able to tell you whether or not this can be repaired, but chips and cracks could result in the need for a new crown entirely.
Your Crown is No Longer Aesthetically Pleasing
In many cases, cosmetics are important to those with dental crowns. Those with porcelain crowns fused to metal may notice a dark line along their teeth, for example, which results from the crown’s metal showing through. If this causes cosmetic concern, a dentist can replace the crown.
Your Crown Is Ten Years Old (or Older)
Even without physical signs of damage, it may be time to replace your crown if it’s more than a decade old. The lifespan of your crown depends on numerous factors such as whether or not you grind your teeth, your eating habits, and the crown’s material.
Many crowns last far longer than fifteen years, but a crown of this age should be regularly monitored by a dentist in the event that it needs to be replaced.
While some insurance companies may cover the cost of dental crown replacement as early as five years after placement, policies vary. Check with your dental insurance provider to assess whether or not the costs of a crown replacement might be covered earlier, and don’t hesitate to inquire with your dentist if you notice any of the signs above.