Why Your Crowns Might Be Breaking

The average lifespan for a dental crown is somewhere between five to 15 years. If you aren’t having good luck with your crowns, we know how frustrated you must feel. When given the right circumstances, a new crown can last a lifetime. Here are the top three reasons a crown usually breaks.


The most common reason a crown breaks has to do with the junction between the lab made material and your natural tooth. Having a crown on the visible surface of your tooth doesn’t mean that you can’t get a cavity in the root. We use cement to attach your new crown to the tooth underneath. Bacteria love to congregate where it’s difficult for you to clean so plaque acids create decay and loosen up the cement. Over time, the bond releases, and the crown breaks right off.

Think flossing is important for your regular teeth? Well it’s even more important to the life of your crowns and bridges. Poor eating habits that include frequent sugary snacks and medications that cause dry mouth, are also risk factors for broken crowns.

Excessive Wear

Stress on any type of material will eventually start to have negative effects. Crowns can wear down just like your teeth. Grinding and clenching habits at night, or during the day, can also break the seal around the crown margin. For those crowns made with more than one material, porcelain is placed on top for a natural appearance, and a gold or metal mixture is placed below simply for strength. Chewing on ice, hard candies, or really crunchy foods like hard pretzels can fracture the porcelain right away from the metal underneath.

Wrong Type of Material

It is up to you and your dentist to choose the material for your crowns that will work best under circumstances that are unique to you. What works for your sister, neighbor or coworker may not be the best choice for you. Let’s say you have a habit of chewing ice:  A gold crown in a back tooth may work well since gold tends to bend instead of break.

It’s very important for you to get a complete evaluation that takes all of your past dental and medical history into account in order to get the best dental treatment for your future. If you have any questions, contact us today!