Dental crowns are sturdy, long-lasting solutions to decayed, damaged, or brittle teeth, but they don’t always last a lifetime. Over many years, problems can occur that require the crown to be removed or replaced. Most often, the crown is removed, any decay beneath it is cleaned up, and a new crown is placed on the tooth.

Types of Crowns

The first type of crown to be used was made of gold, and gold crowns are still popular today for both their functionality and their appearance. Some people use gold crowns as a fashion statement. Most, however, prefer a crown with a more natural, tooth-like look.

Crowns made entirely of porcelain can match the color of surrounding teeth, but porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are more popular because of their strength. They also tend to be less expensive. All-resin crowns are also used but they may not be as durable.

Common Reasons for Removal

Crowns can crack or break, but most often, a crown needs to be removed because of decay on the tooth underneath. Gums tend to recede with age, and when that happens, an opened seal (or margin) on the crown can allow bacteria to enter and cause decay. The crown may become loose or fall off.

Your dentist may want to replace a crown as a preventative measure when he or she notices wear, margin gaps, or other potential problems. A new crown will fit better and keep your tooth healthier for longer. 

Recycling Metal

When a gold or porcelain-fused-to-metal crown is removed, it should be recycled. Although gold crowns are usually alloyed with other metals, the gold can be extracted and repurposed for other uses. The metals in other types of crowns can also be removed and recycled.

However, you cannot simply throw dental metals into a recycling bin. It’s important to work with a company that specializes in purchasing and recycling dental scrap. These companies work either directly with consumers or with dental offices. 

When you get a dental crown, you can expect it to last years and even decades. But if it needs to be removed or replaced, you should think about recycling it for environmental reasons. You could also receive cash for your old crown by working with a dental scrap recycler.

Crown Buyers purchases and recycles used crowns and other dental waste for cash. Click here to learn more.