What is the life span of a dental crown?

A dental crown, which restores a damaged tooth, can be made from three main materials: porcelain, gold or gold fused with porcelain.

Dental CrownGold
Gold is the least aesthetic material because of its yellowish colour, but it is also very durable. A gold crown may last for up to 25-30 years, considering that good oral hygiene is maintained.

A porcelain crown is very beautiful; of all materials, it gives the most natural appearance to a tooth. Its life span is however the shortest, lasting almost 10 years.

Gold fused to porcelain
A crown made of gold fused to porcelain offers the aesthetics of porcelain and the strength of gold. Its longevity is around 15 years.

When a tooth is less destroyed by tooth decay, it can be restored using an onlay or inlay, which can also be made up on gold or porcelain.

Source: Dental Crown
In French: Quelle est la durée de vie d’une couronne dentaire?


5 thoughts on “What is the life span of a dental crown?”

  1. Glynn :Thanks for the reply.My gold bridge is over 20 years old and seems fine in my mouth (no issues). By using a probe, my dentist is saying she can feel some decay around the margin.The hygenist did not mention anything during the exam/cleaning session. Would this show up on an xray? I have no apparent problems and don’t want to replace it, if not necessary. I don’t want to rely on her word alone. Do you recommend a second opinion, or an xray to confirm what I am being told. It sounds like a bit of a dentist sell job, to be honest. Your reply is much appreciated!

    Glynn, take it easy on your dentist. I am sure you have good reason to trust her since you have seen her for 20 years. First, it is possible to get decay at the edge of any restoration just as it is where there is no restoration. Most of the time the patient doesn’t feel decay. In fact, teeth that are dying or completely dead might not have any pain at all while definitely needing a root canal. It can happen! Sure, you can get a second opinion and there is no problem with that. But taking an xray will often be of no help because the metal might block the area of decay from showing…xrays don’t show through metal. As for the hygienist, they are great at cleaning teeth and offer a lot of support. But ultimately, it is the responsibility of the dentist to keep you healthy.

    Don’t toss out this great relationship. Get that second opinion and go from there if need be. But don’t assume your long standing doctor is not being straight with you. If that were the case, she could have made this suggestion many years ago.

  2. Question, is it common to have tooth decay under a gold crown or bridge? If so, how is this determined? How do you determine if a crown or bridge needs to be replaced? Thanks.

    1. Glynn,

      When a crown is very well sealed on a tooth that doesn’t have decay the day it was put on, then the chances of getting a new decay are low. Of course, someone who has bad hygiene, or bad nutrition can get that tooth decayed after a few years.

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