Are Dental Crowns Permanent?

Dental crowns, often referred to as “caps,” are tooth-shaped restorations that cover a damaged or weakened tooth to restore its function, shape, and appearance. They are commonly used to treat a variety of dental issues, including:

  • Severe tooth decay
  • Fractured or broken teeth
  • Worn-down teeth
  • Teeth with large fillings
  • Teeth that have undergone root canal therapy

While dental crowns are considered a permanent solution, they are not indestructible and will eventually need to be replaced. The lifespan of a dental crown can vary depending on several factors, including the type of crown, the material used, oral hygiene practices, and lifestyle habits.

Average Lifespan of Dental Crowns

On average, dental crowns can last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. However, some crowns may last for 20 years or more with proper care. The following factors can influence the lifespan of a dental crown:

  • Type of Crown: Different types of dental crowns are available, including metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, all-ceramic, and zirconia crowns. Each type has its own unique properties and durability.

  • Material: The material used to make the crown can also affect its lifespan. Metal crowns are generally more durable than porcelain or zirconia crowns, but they may not be as aesthetically pleasing.

  • Oral Hygiene Practices: Maintaining good oral hygiene is essential for extending the life of a dental crown. Brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and using a mouthwash can help prevent plaque buildup and gum disease, which can damage the crown and surrounding teeth.

  • Lifestyle Habits: Certain lifestyle habits can also affect the lifespan of a dental crowns. Clenching or grinding teeth, chewing on hard objects, and using your teeth to open packages can all put undue stress on the crown and increase the risk of breakage or damage.

Signs That a Dental Crown Needs Replacement

Even with the best care, dental crowns may eventually need to be replaced due to wear and tear, damage, or changes in the underlying tooth structure. Some signs that a dental crown may need replacement include:

  • Loose or ill-fitting crown: A loose crown can be easily irritated and may cause pain or discomfort when biting.

  • Chipped or broken crown: A chipped or broken crown can affect the function and aesthetics of the tooth and may allow bacteria to enter the tooth.

  • Receding gumline: If the gumline recedes around a crown, it can expose the margin of the crown, making it more susceptible to decay and infection.

  • Underlying tooth decay or damage: If the tooth under the crown develops decay or further damage, the crown may need to be replaced to protect the tooth.


Dental crowns are a valuable tool for restoring and preserving damaged teeth. With proper care and attention, they can last for many years and provide you with a healthy, functional, and aesthetically pleasing smile. However, it is important to be aware of the potential signs that a dental crown may need replacement and to consult with your dentist regularly to ensure the longevity of your dental restorations. Please find the dental office near you in these locations: Attleboro, Chelmsford, Hyde Park, Jamaica Plain, Lynn, Manchester, Methuen, Roslindale, Taunton.

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