The laboratory makes your caps from all metal, porcelain fused to metal (PFM) or ceramics. Metal or PFM crowns last the longest, and generally go on your back teeth to handle heavy duty chewing duties. Ceramic crowns match your tooth color.
Generally, tooth crowns last seven years or better - though some lucky crown wearers keep their originals for 40 years without problems. If you have upstart crowns though, you might discover some royal quirks:
Sensitivity - You might be sensitive to heat and cold in the initial days after your procedure. The sensations should be a temporary condition.
Pain - Call your dentist if it hurts to bite down. It usually means your dental crown is set too high and your dentist will have to re-seat the cap.
Lines - Dark marks by the gum line shows where the porcelain meets the metal on your PFMs. This is normal.
Irritation - Your dentist might prescribe fluoride treatments to ease your gums at first. Though a tooth crown stops decay, gum disease is a job for another agent. Practice good oral hygiene to stop gingivitis.
Chips - Porcelain and ceramics chip occasionally and your dentist can repair these right away. However, numerous chips undermine the overall structure. Eventually, you may need to replace the entire dental crown.
Washouts - Cement erosion could undermine the airtight qualities, letting bacteria back into your tooth. If tooth crowns feel loose when you chew, see your dentist.
Dethroning - Sometimes a dental crown falls out of place because of cement loss or improper fit. If your cap unseats itself, put it in a plastic bag and bring it back to the dentist for a re-fit.
If you must reapply it before you get dental help, wash the tooth crown out thoroughly and remove the excess cement with a toothpick. Use a denture adhesive for a temporary fit, and get to your dentist as soon as possible.