You had a crown done on your back molar a few years ago but now your dentist is telling you that it needs to be replaced. How many times can you do it before you can't replace it anymore?
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How many times can you replace a crown?
The answer would be that it depends on the condition of your tooth underneath the crown and also the reason as to why you are replacing the crown.
You don't like the tooth cap and there is nothing wrong with it.
You can replace the crown as many times as you want if there is nothing wrong with it. What we mean by that is that there is no tooth decay underneath the cap. In this case, your dentist can simply remove it and just remake a new one without harming the underlying tooth structure. Sometimes people don't like the color of their teeth or they just had teeth whitening done so they want the color to match.
There was tooth decay underneath it.
If you had a cavity underneath the crown, you will most likely need to have the cavity removed. After the cavity removal, you will have less natural tooth structure left. This will make your tooth cap less stable afterwards. Now imagine each time you had to drill away more of the tooth, the less tooth there will be left over. This would mean that there would be a limited amount of times that you can replace the crown. Of course this all depends on how big the cavity was each time! If it was really big like this one, you probably only have one chance.
You can only get a crown on this cavity just once. The next time it happens, there won't be enough of the tooth left over to get a tooth cap on it!
Receding gum line from the crown.
If you have gum disease and the gums happen to be receding, it may cause a cosmetic issue that you may want to address.
You can replace it many times if this is the case because all you have to do is remove it and then just extend the crown to cover it fully. You don't need to drill away a lot of tooth structure for this procedure so it preserves the structural integrity.
Your crown is broken.
If your crown is fractured like this, it can be easily replaced. You just need to remove the broken piece and take a new mold of the tooth to have a new cap made. You don't need to remove additional tooth structure for this so you can replace it many times.
How often should you replace a crown?
There is not a length of time that you need to wait for to replace a crown. You should only do a crown replacement if there is something wrong with it such as these reasons:
It is a cosmetic issue.
It is broken.
Receding gum line.
Cavity underneath it.
As long as none of the above occurs and it is still functional, you might as well keep it in your mouth and let it work. We want our dental restorations to last as long as possible. Our dentists in long island city therefore do not have a time interval recommendation as to when it should be replace since it is not dependent on time but rather on the condition of the tooth.
If you have a porcelain crown that has lasted for over 30 years, we call that a success.
How does a dentist replace your crown?
The procedure to replace it, is quite similar to the first time that you had it made except for the part that we need to remove it.
Dental numbing gel and the numbing shot.
Cut off the old crown by drilling it off.
Refine the tooth preparation.
Take an impression or mold of your tooth.
Make a temporary crown.
Wait for dental lab to make the new crown.
Glue in new crown.
How do you prevent your crown from needing replacement?
The whole idea isn't to replace the crown as often as possible. What you actually want is to only have it made once and never replace it again. You can do this by taking good care of it. Crowns don't need any special cleaning techniques, you can just treat it as if it was any other tooth in your mouth so maintain your oral hygiene regime.
Brush for at least 2 minutes twice a day with a fluoride or hydroxyapatite toothpaste.
Floss before you go to bed.
Use a mouthwash like Listerine or even coconut oil pulling.
Make sure to go for your dental check ups and teeth cleaning twice a year!