If you're like many people who have had extensive dental work done before, you have dental crowns. These are whole caps placed over existing teeth to preserve what's left of a tooth and the root system beneath. Depending on what type of dental crowns you have, they may be made of a white composite to resemble a natural tooth or of a silver or other type of metal.

Do you need replacement dental crowns? If you have had the same ones since you were younger, you'll need new ones eventually since crowning dental work usually lasts around 15 years or so. Otherwise, your dental crowns will need to be replaced if any of the following apply to you.

You've damaged the tooth again

Have you damaged the tooth where you have a dental crown again? If so, the nerves may be affected or the materials in the dental crown may be scratched, chipped, or otherwise damaged. You may need to have your dental crown replaced or repaired, depending on how bad the damage is and how old the crown is.

You've wanted an upgrade

Do you want to go from a silver dental crown to a more natural-looking one? Is your dental crown uncomfortable and worn down, making your tooth look unnatural compared to the rest of your teeth? If you want to make an upgrade in your smile, getting new crowning dental work done can be a great way to accomplish this.

You've had dental pain where your dental crowns are

If your tooth is starting to hurt where the dental crown is and you have no new damage to the tooth itself, it could be that the crown is just worn out. When you damage the dental crown, the dentin and nerves of your tooth are exposed again to the elements. This not only leads to dental pain but can cause further damage to the tooth as well. You should have any dental crowns repaired or at least inspected if you have dental pain.

Your oral health is important, and the sooner you get your dental crowns addressed via repair or replacement, the better. Your dental crowns are supposed to protect your teeth, and the more you do your part to pay attention to your smile and keep it healthy, the better off your smile is. Your dentist can let you know if your dental crowns need additional attention when you go in for your next dental appointment.