How long should a Dental Crown last?

Dr. Kyle Hornby

Dental crowns are cemented "caps" that act like a helmet to protect weak teeth. The crown can be made of porcelain, porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), or metal alloys including gold alloys. A Dentist will typically recommend a crown under a few circumstances:

  • Following root canal treatment. These teeth are inherently more brittle and less fracture-resistant. As a result, they are more likely to split or fracture under heavy load.
  • Following fracture of a cusp. The cusps on your molars and premolars are the round peaks of enamel emerging from the biting surface. These parts of the tooth are subject to heaviest forces when chewing. A simple repair of cusp fractures with dental filling material is likely to fracture again after a short time.
  • Following cracking and symptom development. It is not uncommon for a tooth to develop shallow cracks in the enamel. However, when the cracks deepen toward the nerve, biting pain can follow. These teeth will continue to be symptomatic until reinforced.

So, without further ado, how long do dental crowns last?

Dental Crown Longevity

Thorough research shows that dental crowns have a high survival rate at 10 years post-treatment. Here are statistics for the different crown types:

  • Gold crowns enjoy a 96% survival rate at 10 years.
  • Porcelain-Metal (PFM) crowns enjoy a 90% survival rate at 10 years.
  • All ceramic crown enjoy a 75-80% survival rate at 10 years.

So, generally, you can expect that your dental crown will be in good shape at the 10 year mark. However, in clinical practice we see crowns often last 20 years or more. And there are instances of gold crowns lasting 40+ years! Ultimately, the biggest factor determining long-term success of dental crowns is home care and maintenance. So, what can you do to protect your dental crown long term?


Here are a few tips for maximizing the lifespan of your dental crown:

  1. Brush around your crown thoroughly and floss daily. The most decay susceptible area around your crown is down near the gum line where plaque collects.
  2. If you grind your teeth, make sure to wear a night guard because it will minimize destructive forces on your crown.
  3. Avoid chewing hard foods such as ice and hard candies with your dental crown. These foods can crack the porcelain on your crown.

Thanks for reading this week! I hope you've found this brief article helpful!

(If you'd like a more comprehensive read on Dental Crowns, please visit my Definitive Guide to Dental Crowns.

By Dr. Kyle Hornby, Kitchener Dentist

If you would like to discuss dental dental crowns or arrange a no-charge Meet & Greet appointment, give us a call at (519) 576-8160 or request a consult with me here. We would love the opportunity to show you what we're all about!

This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your Kitchener Dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a dental condition or treatment.

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