Crown Longevity: How to Make Your Dental Crown Investment Last

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Teeth take a lot of wear and tear and over time, can become fractured, cracked, and decayed. Early intervention is the best way to save your tooth and prevent more serious issues. Dr. Elizabeth Eggert and Dr. Jeff Eggert often recommend dental crowns for patients with these tooth issues. As we all know, any good investment is worth protecting, and crowns are no exception. It’s important to be proactive to ensure crown longevity.

What is a dental crown, and how does it work?

Before we get into details about how to care for your dental crown, let’s start by discussing what a crown is, how it’s created, and how it protects your tooth.

Although they can be fashioned from ceramic, metal, or a combination of the two, porcelain is the most popular and arguably the most effective material dentists use for crowns today. Porcelain is durable, feels the most natural, and is easily matched to the shade of your other teeth. Dr. Elizabeth Eggert and Dr. Jeff Eggert agree that all-porcelain crowns are the best overall choice nearly all of the time.

After Dr. Elizabeth Eggert or Dr. Jeff Eggert removes any tooth decay and reshapes your tooth, they will take a digital image or putty impression. In most cases, your crown can be created the same day at our office using the CEREC scan. Occasionally, we will need to send your impression to a dental lab, for the fabrication of your crown and you will return to our office in a couple of weeks for the placement. In this case, you’ll leave your first visit with a temporary crown and instructions for proper care.

Think about your dental crown as a protective helmet for your tooth. It fits intimately on top of your compromised tooth and is securely cemented in place. It looks and acts just like a natural tooth.

In addition to supporting weak or decaying teeth, crowns:

  • Help hold dental bridges in place
  • Cover severely stained or discolored teeth
  • Protect a tooth after root canal treatment is completed to keep the tooth from splitting
  • Are part of the system to restore a dental implant when you’re missing a tooth

With proper care, your crown should last a decade or more!

How can I take care of my dental crown to ensure crown longevity?

We’ve already established that crowns are highly durable and, among other things, help strengthen weak teeth. But although they’re durable, they’re not indestructible. Here are some important steps you can take to get the most life out of your dental crown:

1. Keep up with daily dental care.

The importance of daily brushing and flossing cannot be underestimated. Plaque can still form on crowns! Brushing and flossing twice daily helps remove sticky plaque before it builds up and keeps your teeth looking their best. It also removes food particles that get trapped between the crown and the gumline, causing plaque build-up that leads to gingivitis or decay and can aid in crown longevity.

2. Avoid chewy, sticky, hard foods.

Do you like to crunch on ice or chew hard candies? Just like natural teeth, crowns can crack under extreme pressure. Even healthy foods like popcorn with kernels and pistachios in the shell can cause undue damage to your dental crown. Taffies, caramel apples, and other sticky foods can loosen your crown, making it easy for food particles to get underneath and cause decay. In some instances, chewy foods can dislodge crowns completely. If this happens, call our office right away!

3. Minimize acidic and sugary foods.

Acidic and sugary foods will erode enamel, but even if your tooth is protected with the porcelain of a dental crown, these substances can still easily cause decay and damage the tooth under your crown.

If you choose to indulge in these foods, make sure you are using impeccable dental hygiene at home and it is super important that you maintain a regular recare schedule with us at Eggert Family Dentistry so we can discover any compromise early and before major damage occurs..

On a side note, acidic and sugary foods will cause enamel to wear thin, resulting in tooth discoloration and darkening. Because your dental crown is color-matched to your natural teeth at the time of application, discoloration of your natural teeth will create a contrast between those and your crown and detract from its natural appearance.

4. Wear a night guard if you’re prone to teeth-grinding.

Teeth grinding, also known as bruxism, is detrimental to your teeth in several ways. In addition to headaches and a sore, tired jaw, bruxism can wear down enamel and even cause teeth to crack or chip. Although molars can withstand 200 lbs of pressure from regular biting and chewing, they have their limit and so do dental crowns. Fortunately, wearing a night guard can protect your natural teeth and promote crown longevity. If you think you may need a night guard, talk with Dr. Jeff Eggert or Dr. Elizabeth Eggert about that at your next recare visit.

5. Prioritize your recare visits at Eggert Family Dentistry.

Your oral health is our first priority. In addition to a tooth cleaning by our magnificent hygienists,  Dr. Elizabeth Eggert and Dr. Jeff Eggert will closely examine your teeth for any early signs of cavities, gum disease, and oral cancer. They will also perform annual x-rays, which can help spot early signs of infection and they will treat your teeth with fluoride to help remineralize them and prevent cavities. And, a recare visit wouldn’t be complete without a thorough inspection of any existing dental work, including dental crowns, to make sure they’re intact and functioning properly.

When it comes to oral health, prevention is always the best approach. If you haven’t been keeping up with your recare visits or have any dental concerns, Dr. Elizabeth Eggert and Dr. Jeff Eggert are happy to see you in our office. Call Eggert Family Dentistry at 651.482.8412 to schedule your next appointment.

How Long Can You Expect Your Dental Crown to Last?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

Dental crowns are a popular solution for restoring damaged or weakened teeth, providing both strength and aesthetic appeal. One common question patients ask us nearly every day is: How long will my dental crown last? While the longevity of a crown can vary depending on various factors, including materials used and oral hygiene practices, it’s generally expected that a well-maintained crown can last for many years, sometimes even decades.

Dr. Elizabeth Eggert and Dr. Jeff Eggert of Eggert Family Dentistry in North Oaks, MN, understand the importance of creating durable and long-lasting dental crowns. Their commitment to quality craftsmanship and attention to detail ensures that patients receive crowns that are built to withstand the test of time. By using the latest technology and highest quality materials, emax or zirconia porcelain crowns, they can create crowns that blend seamlessly with your natural teeth and provide exceptional durability.

What Are Some Reasons Crowns Need to be Replaced?

It’s essential to note that the lifespan of a dental crown also depends on the patient’s oral hygiene habits and lifestyle choices. Even the most well-crafted crown can fail prematurely if not properly cared for. That’s why Dr. Elizabeth Eggert and Dr. Jeff Eggert emphasize the importance of good oral hygiene and regular dental check-ups. By brushing and flossing daily and visiting our office for routine cleanings and exams, patients can significantly extend the lifespan of their dental crowns.

Additionally, patients should be mindful of habits that could potentially damage their crowns, such as chewing on hard objects or using their teeth as tools. These actions can put undue stress on the crown and increase the risk of cracks or fractures. By avoiding these habits and practicing good oral care, patients can maximize the longevity of their dental crowns and minimize the need for costly repairs or replacements.

Dr. Jeff and Dr. Elizabeth most often see crowns needing to be replaced due to decay. Unfortunately, even though a crown protects a tooth, there is still a lot of tooth structure present that can decay if subjected to the sugars and acids that attack teeth and cause cavities. Dry mouth, or lack of saliva, also is a huge culprit for decay so patients that have dry mouth should be sure to talk to us about methods that can help. Occasionally, crowns will fracture just like teeth do. Typically this occurs more often in patients with unstable bite forces or who tend to put a lot of pressure on their teeth.

What Happens to Replace a Crown?

In cases where a crown does need to be replaced, Dr. Elizabeth Eggert and Dr. Jeff Eggert offer comprehensive solutions tailored to each patient’s needs. Whether it’s due to normal wear and tear or unexpected damage, they utilize their expertise and advanced techniques, like our CEREC same-day crown fabrication techniques, to ensure a seamless and comfortable restoration process. Replacing a crown is similar to undergoing the crown procedure the first time. We will get the area numbed up for comfort and carefully remove the old crown, remove any decay, and prepare the tooth for the new crown. With our dedication to patient satisfaction and long-term oral health, Eggert Family Dentistry is committed to helping patients enjoy the benefits of their dental crowns for years to come.

Have More Questions About Crowns?  Call Us Today!

While the exact lifespan of a dental crown can vary, patients can expect their crowns to last for many years with proper care and maintenance. By choosing a reputable dental practice like Eggert Family Dentistry and following our guidance on oral hygiene and lifestyle habits, patients can enjoy the functional and aesthetic benefits of their crowns for as long as possible. Remember, a healthy smile starts with good habits and regular dental care. Call us today at 651-482-8412 to set up your next appointment.

What Is a Core Buildup, and Why Would You Need One?

By: Dr. Elizabeth Eggert

When a tooth is severely damaged – for example, from a large cavity, a fracture, or a failed filling – a crown may be necessary to restore the function and appearance of the tooth. However, if too much of the tooth is missing to support the crown, it may be necessary to rebuild part of the tooth. 

A core buildup can be part of the process of preparing a tooth to receive a crown. For the crown to be successful, there are minimum size requirements for the height, width, and taper of a tooth. A core buildup ensures the tooth has a strong foundation and is stable enough to support the crown. 

Is a Core Buildup Always Necessary for a Crown? 

If a tooth has not suffered significant damage, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff can often prepare the tooth for a crown without doing a core buildup. However, if the tooth is badly damaged, for example because of a fracture or an existing large filling, a core buildup is an essential part of the preparation for a new crown.

What Is a Core Buildup Made Of? 

Dr. Elizabeth and Dr. Jeff usually use a composite resin or a resin modified glass ionomer to create the core buildup. Although metal-based materials have been used in the past for core buildups, they require a more invasive preparation of the tooth enamel and require an additional appointment to give the material time to fully set. By using a resin material, more of the original tooth can be saved because of the ability to bond to the tooth, which tends to result in better crown retention. Also, the material can be prepared right away and on the same day! 

What Is a Post, and When Is It Needed?

When a substantial amount of the original tooth is missing and the tooth has had a root canal, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff may need to add a post to help hold the resin material of the core buildup. The ability to use the root canal space allows for even more support for the new foundation. 

Is the Core Buildup Done at the Same Appointment as the Crown? 

Completing a core buildup typically takes about 5-10 minutes. If placement of a post is needed, the appointment may take longer. When the core buildup is finished, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff can use the CEREC crown restoration system to create your new crown in minutes. 

If you think you may need a crown, call our office at 651-482-8412. During your oral exam, Dr. Elizabeth or Dr. Jeff will determine whether you need a crown and a core buildup. 

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