Dental Crown Replacement: Common Signs to Watch Out For

Dr. Ash Sagar
Narre Warren Dental Care

A brighter, healthier smile is a common desire for many, and dental crowns often play a significant role in achieving this. However, like all dental restorations, teeth crowns are not immune to wear and tear. Understanding the lifespan of a dental crown, recognising signs of dental crown failure, and knowing when replacement or repair is necessary can help maintain your oral health and keep a youthful smile.

In this article, we will dig into the world of dental crowns, focusing on key areas such as dental crown replacement, understanding the lifespan of a dental crown, identifying when a dental crown repair is needed, and recognising signs of dental crown failure. We will also discuss managing expectations before getting a dental crown.

Whether you already have a dental crown or are considering getting one, this article will provide valuable insights. So, let’s embark on this journey to better oral health and a more confident smile. Read on to learn more about dental crowns and how to care for them.

Narre Warren Dental Care
  • Dental crowns are crucial in maintaining a healthy and youthful smile.

  • Dental crown replacement is necessary when the crown is damaged or worn out.

  • The material used and the dental patient’s oral hygiene practices can affect how long a dental crown lasts.

  • Signs of dental crown failure include discomfort, visible damage, and changes in bite or alignment.

  • Ignoring a failing dental crown can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.

  • Dental crown replacement involves removing the old crown, preparing the tooth, and fitting a new crown.

  • Dental crown lifespan can be extended through proper dental hygiene and regular dental check-ups.

  • Sometimes, a damaged dental crown can be repaired instead of replaced.

  • The cost of dental crown replacement varies depending on the type of crown, the dentist’s experience, and the patient’s dental health fund.

  • Narre Warren Dental Care offers comprehensive dental crown replacement and repair services.

Understanding Dental Crown Replacement

A dental crown, often called a “cap,” is a dental restoration that fully encases a tooth or dental implant. Dental crowns are often recommended when a tooth’s health is at risk due to a cavity. They can also be used to strengthen and improve the appearance of discoloured teeth that are fractured or malformed.

Dental crown replacement becomes necessary when the crown becomes damaged or worn out or when decay occurs in the tooth underneath the crown. The process of dental crown replacement involves removing the old crown, addressing any underlying issues, and fitting a new crown. This dental crown treatment procedure is typically performed by a dentist, replacing missing teeth and restoring damaged ones.

Several factors can influence the need for dental crown replacement. These include the type of material the crown is made from, the amount of natural tooth remaining, the quality of the dental hygiene routine of the patient, and the forces exerted on the crown from chewing and biting.

Understanding the process and necessity of dental crown replacement can help patients manage their oral health more effectively and maintain their dental crowns for as long as possible. It’s important to remember that dental crowns are durable and can last many years. They are not invincible and may require replacement over time.

The Lifespan of a Dental Crown

A dental crown is a long-term option to improve the damaged tooth’s appearance and functionality. However, like any dental restoration, it doesn’t last forever. An average dental crown can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years, though this might vary greatly.

The following factors can affect a dental crown’s lifespan:

  1. Material:
    Dental crowns are made from various materials, including porcelain, metal, and resin crowns. Porcelain crowns are popular for their natural appearance, but metal crowns, particularly those made from gold alloys, are known for their exceptional durability.

  2. Oral Hygiene Habits:
    Keeping your gums and teeth clean and routine dental visits can help extend the dental crown lifespan. Good oral hygiene habits can prevent the accumulation of plaque and tooth decay, which can compromise the longevity of your crown.

  3. Lifestyle Habits:
    Certain habits, such as teeth grinding or consuming sticky foods, can put undue stress on your dental crown and potentially cause damage to crowns or dislodgement.

  4. Placement of the Crown:
    Crowns placed on the back teeth (molars) are subjected to more wear and tear due to chewing and grinding, which can shorten their lifespan.

Understanding the dental crown lifespan and the factors influencing it is crucial to manage your oral health effectively.

Common Signs Your Dental Crown Needs Replacement

Recognising the signs of dental crown failure is crucial to maintaining oral health and preventing further complications. Here are some common indicators that your dental crown may need to be replaced:

  1. Tooth Sensitivity:
    Prolonged sensitivity to hot and cold is normal shortly after dental crown placement and could indicate that the crown is not fitting properly. This may expose the underlying tooth to temperature changes.

  2. Pain or Discomfort:
    Persistent pain or discomfort around the area of the dental crown is a clear sign that something is not right. Pain or discomfort could be due to a tooth infection, decay under the crown, or the crown itself being damaged.

  3. Loose Crown:
    A well-fitted dental crown should feel secure and stable. If your crown feels loose or wobbly, it’s a sign that it may need to be replaced.

  4. Visible Damage:
    If there are visible cracks or chips in your custom crown, it’s a sign that the crown is damaged and may need to be replaced.

  5. Gum Recession:
    If your gums are receding around your dental crown, it could be a sign of gum disease or a poorly fitted crown.

  6. Change in Bite:
    If you notice a change in your bite or how your teeth align when you close your mouth, it could be due to a shifting or failing custom crown.

  7. Dark Line on the Gum:
    A dark line on the gum around the crown is often seen with porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns. It’s not a health concern, but it can be a cosmetic issue for some people.

If you notice any of these signs, scheduling an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible is important. Ignoring a failing dental crown can lead to further complications, including the risk of tooth decay, infection, and loss.

Remember, dental crowns must be replaced at some point. Regular checkups with your dental care professional will help your crown to be in good condition and functioning as it should.

What Happens If You Ignore a Failing Dental Crown?

Ignoring a failing dental crown is not a risk worth taking. It’s essential to understand the potential complications that could arise if a damaged or loose crown is not addressed promptly. Here are some potential risks:

  1. Tooth Decay:
    If a crown becomes loose or damaged, bacteria can seep in and cause decay in the remaining natural tooth structure, leading to further dental problems and requiring more extensive treatment.

  2. Infection:
    A failing crown can expose the real tooth to bacteria, leading to an infection that could spread to other parts of the mouth.

  3. Pain and Discomfort:
    A damaged crown can cause pain and discomfort when eating or drinking cold or hot foods and beverages.

  4. Damage to Adjacent Teeth:
    A loose or damaged crown can cause damage to the adjacent teeth, potentially leading to additional dental issues.

  5. Loss of the Tooth:
    Failure to replace a compromised crown could result in tooth extraction.

  6. Cosmetic Issues:
    A damaged or discoloured crown can impact your smile and the overall appearance of teeth.

If you notice any signs of a failing dental crown, it’s crucial to schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. A timely dental crown replacement can prevent these complications and help maintain oral health.

The Process of Dental Crown Replacement

The entire process of dental crown replacement may seem daunting, but with the right information and guidance, it can be a manageable dental crown procedure. Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you understand what to expect:

  1. Consultation and Examination:
    Your dentist will thoroughly examine your oral health, focusing on the condition of the existing custom-made crown. They will discuss the reasons for replacement, whether due to damage, decay, or aesthetic concerns.

  2. Removal of the Old Crown:
    The dentist will carefully remove the old crown. This process is done with precision to avoid causing any damage to the underlying tooth structure.

  3. Tooth Preparation:
    The dentist will prepare the tooth for the new crown after removing the old one, which involves cleaning the tooth, addressing any decay, and reshaping the tooth if necessary.

  4. Digital Impression Taking:
    An impression or mould of your tooth will be taken that serves as a blueprint for the dental laboratory to create a crown that fits perfectly onto your tooth and aligns well with your bite.

  5. Temporary Crown Placement:
    A temporary crown will safeguard your tooth while your new crown is created. This crown is not as sturdy as the permanent one, so you’ll be advised to take special care when eating and cleaning.

  6. Placement of the New Crown:
    Once your new dental crown is ready, you’ll return to the clinic for the final crown fitting appointment. The dentist will check if the crown fits properly and if the natural colour matches your surrounding teeth before cementing it.

  7. Follow-up Visits:
    Regular dental visits are crucial after placing your new crown. Your dentist will check the condition and fit of the crown so that it’s functioning as intended.

Remember, each patient’s situation is unique, and the process may vary slightly based on patient needs. Maintain good oral hygiene habits and follow specific care instructions provided by your dentist to extend the lifespan of your new dental crown.

How to Extend the Lifespan of Your Dental Crown

It’s important to understand that dental crowns, while durable, are not indestructible. Like your real teeth, they are susceptible to wear and tear. However, you can significantly extend your dental crown lifespan with proper care and attention. Here are some practical tips to help you achieve this:

  1. Maintain Good Oral Hygiene Habits:
    The cornerstone of any dental care routine. Use an antiseptic mouthwash, floss daily, and brush your teeth daily to help eliminate the bacteria that might lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Remember, a crown is only as good as the tooth underneath it. If the tooth becomes decayed, the crown may fail.

  2. Regular Dental Check-ups:
    Regular checkups are crucial to monitor the condition of your crown and the underlying tooth to catch any issues early before they become major problems.

  3. Avoid Hard Foods and Non-Food Items:
    Hard foods like ice or candy can cause crown damage. Using your teeth as tools to bite nails or open packages can put unneeded strain on your crown.

  4. Protect Your Teeth:
    If you habitually grind your teeth at night, use a mouth guard to shield the crown and other teeth from excessive pressure. Similarly, a mouthguard can protect your teeth from injury if you play contact sports.

  5. Healthy Lifestyle:
    A healthy diet, low in sugar and high in calcium, can help maintain strong teeth and gums. Avoiding tobacco and excessive alcohol can also contribute to better oral health.

Remember, while dental crowns are designed to be long-lasting, they do not last forever. By following these important tips, you can extend the lifespan of your dental crown so that it continues to serve you well for many years to come.

Dental Crown Repair: An Alternative to Replacement?

When it comes to dental crowns, it’s not always about replacement. Sometimes, a dental crown repair can be just as effective, depending on the extent and nature of the damage, especially for minor issues like small cracks or chips, which can often be addressed without the need for a complete crown replacement.

Dental crowns can be damaged in various ways, such as through injury, teeth grinding, biting hard materials, teeth clenching, improper crown preparation or installation, tooth decay that prevents anchoring of the crown, or unhealthy gum pockets. When damage occurs, you must immediately contact your dentist to assess the situation and determine suitable action.

Minor cracks in a dental crown can often be addressed through minor filing, smoothing, and polishing. In certain cases, dentists can repair damaged crowns with composite resin, a tooth-coloured material that can be polished and given a similar form to the rest of the crown.

However, if the damage is too severe, a new crown may need to be installed. In the worst-case scenario, a crown may not be salvageable, leading to a tooth extraction or a dental implant.

While dental crown repair can be a viable option, it’s important to remember that it’s not always possible or a viable option. The decision between repair and replacement will depend on various factors, including the extent of the damage, the condition of the underlying tooth, and the advice of your dentist.

The Cost of Dental Crown Replacement

When it comes to maintaining a healthy and beautiful smile, dental crowns play a crucial role. However, one common concern among patients is the cost of dental crown replacement. It’s important to understand that the cost can vary significantly depending on several factors.

Factors Influencing the Cost

  1. Type of Crown:
    The dental crown material significantly affects the cost. Crowns can be made from porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), all-metal (such as gold or another alloy), or ceramic. Each material has its price range. For instance, porcelain crowns are often more expensive than their metal counterparts due to their natural appearance.

  2. Dentist’s Experience and Location:
    The cost of crowns can also vary depending on the dentist’s experience and location. Dental professionals in urban areas or those with extensive experience may charge more for their services.

  3. Condition of the Tooth:
    If the tooth requiring the crown needs additional treatment, such as a periodontal or root canal treatment, this will also add to the overall dental crown price.

  4. Dental Health Funds:
    Health funds can significantly reduce out-of-pocket expenses for dental crowns. However, health funds vary widely among providers, so it’s important to check with your health fund provider.

A porcelain and ceramic crown costs up to $2,100 per tooth in Australia. These are only estimates; therefore, the actual cost could be more or cheaper depending on the variables above.

Cost vs. Value

While the cost of dental crown replacement can seem high, it’s essential to consider the value and benefits it provides. Dental crowns protect and strengthen your tooth, prevent further dental decay, and improve your smile’s aesthetics. They are a long-term investment in oral health, and a dental crown lasts up to 15 years or more with proper care.

Final Thoughts

Navigating the world of dental health can be complex, but with the right information and professional guidance, you can make informed decisions about your oral health. Whether you’re considering a dental crown, need a replacement, or are curious about the repair options, understanding the process and what to expect can make a significant difference.

At Narre Warren Dental Care, we believe in empowering our patients with knowledge and providing them with dental care services. Our dental clinic is committed to helping you maintain a healthy, beautiful, natural-looking smile. We offer a range of services, including dental crown replacement and repair, and we’re here to guide you every step of the way.

If you’re experiencing any issues with your dental crown or have concerns about your oral health, don’t hesitate to contact us. Please schedule an appointment with us today, and let’s embark on your journey towards optimal dental health together.

Remember, your smile is an investment in your overall well-being. Take care of it; it will reward you with confidence and happiness for years.

Disclaimer – Use At Your Own Risk :- The information on this website is for general information purposes only. Nothing on this site should be taken as advice for any individual case or situation. Any action you take upon the information on these blogs are strictly at your own risk. We will not be liable for any losses or damages in connection with the use of the information from these blogs.

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