What is a dental crown?
- Covering a dental implant
- Protecting eroded, weakened, or cracked teeth
- Correcting discoloration or misshapenness
Should dental crowns be replaced once they reach a certain age?
Your average dental crown is very durable and should not be replaced simply due to age or the introduction of newer, more-advanced materials. As a doctor, I believe that, if it keeps doing the job it is meant to do, why make a change? While some dentists will recommend that you receive a crown replacement, remember that financial or aesthetic considerations on their part may be what is influencing their suggestion.
However, if you do have dental crowns, it is important to have them closely examined at your routine dental appointments. At your visit, we will examine the crown to make sure that it still properly fits your tooth and that no open areas or decay are visible. While the materials used to construct crowns are not prone to corrosion, the cement used to attach the crown can be compromised by years of exposure to saliva, which can cause subsequent decay.With time, porcelain crowns may develop chips. Even in cases such as these, I rarely recommend replacement.
Typically, it is sufficient for the crown to be smoothed. While it may not be as attractive as it was when it was new, its functionality is certainly not compromised. While gold crowns are typically more long-lasting, many dentists now prefer the use of porcelain as porcelain crowns are undoubtedly far more natural in appearance.Crown replacement is not a procedure that should be taken lightly. Not only can it come with a hefty price tag, it can also further compromise the natural tooth. During the procedure, some nerve (pulp) damage is inevitable. Too much damage can result in a required root canal to protect the tooth from disease and eventual loss. Crowns can also weaken the structure of the tooth, making it prone to future fracturing. Despite this, if a crown replacement is necessary, it should be done without delay. After all, the cost and minimal damage to the tooth is certainly preferable to losing the tooth entirely.
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