If you have had dental crowns covering your teeth for a while, it might be time to replace them. The amount of time crowns last depend on a number of factors, including the type of crown you have, how well you take care of your teeth, and if it has been damaged. Crowns can last a decade or longer with good care, but there might be times when you want to replace it before this many years has passed. Here are some different reasons why you might want to replace your dental crown.

Is the crown worn down?

Many people that get dental crowns are under the misconception that they are stronger and more resistant to wearing down than natural teeth. While crowns are very strong and make excellent caps over your teeth, they are not resistant to everything. You may notice that over time, the material starts wearing down, similar to how you notice changes in the enamel of your natural teeth. If the crown looks like it is becoming brittle, too thin, or you don't like the uneven look of the crown's surface, you might want to have it replaced.

Does the crown have any damage?

Even if the crown is not worn down, you might have other types of damage. It may have a small chip at the edge, a crack or break. Damage to the crown could make it more susceptible to breaking off entirely. This will put your natural tooth at risk, especially if you have a crown covering a dead tooth following a root canal procedure. If the crown is holding a bridge in place, you risk needing to replace the entire bridge. See a dentist as soon as you notice any damage to your crown.

Are you no longer happy with the appearance of the crown?

Sometimes, the only reason you replace your crown is for aesthetic reasons. Over time, the crown might start becoming discolored, where it is no longer the same color as your other teeth. There are also times when your natural teeth have changed color, but the crown hasn't, and the colors no longer match. This makes the crown stand out like a sore thumb, making it very obvious you have it. Crowns can also get staining from dark soda, wine and some foods, just like natural tooth enamel. These are all reasons to consider replacing your crown.

Is there tooth decay on the crown?

Even with a crown over your tooth, you can get tooth decay on the natural tooth underneath it. You will know you have decay by that decay peeking out on the very edge of the dental crown. In this case, you need to have the crown removed, your natural tooth treated with a filling or removing the decay, and a new crown put back on.

Is your crown loose?

If your crown has become loose and feels like it is about to fall out, see your dentist right away. If it has not yet fallen out or become damaged, your dentist like Karla M. Kreger D.D.S. might be able to save it. They can simply re-cement the crown so that you don't need to pay for a brand new one.