When a tooth becomes chipped or otherwise eroded then it’s time to visit your dentist to cap it. Most commonly, however, you will hear instead that you need a crown. Is there a difference between a cap and a crown? Not at all. Cap is just an older term and the words are interchangeable. There are, however, differences in the types of crowns available. In this article we will discuss capping in detail so that you will have all of the information that you need to decide if this is the dental solution for you!
What is a cap on your tooth?
A cap, or crown as it is most commonly known these days, it a covering for a damaged tooth that recreates the look of your natural tooth. Typically porcelain, crowns are not only durable but stain resistant as well. There are pros and cons to the procedure which we will get into shortly but on the whole, crowns are an excellent way to achieve a picture-perfect smile!
How long should a crown on a tooth last?
A durable crown, properly fitting, can last a good 8 – 15 years, possibly more if you take care of your teeth. The ceramics involved are quite strong and each crown is custom designed for fitting to your tooth. Care is easy, requiring only that you brush and floss as normal so crowns are not a hassle at all once they are in place. If your crown DOES become damaged, as long as the tooth underneath it is stable enough then you can simply be fitted with a new crown.
Getting a crown does require a bit of drilling but your dentist will, of course, anesthetize you first. The natural tool that is to receive the crown is then shaved down a little in order to provide a uniform shape for the capping portion of the process. At this point, a mold is taken of your teeth, and a temporary crown is affixed to the spot that your dentist has just prepared. The mold of your teeth will provide the data necessary to customize your crown in the lab and when it’s ready then you will have another appointment with your dentist so that it may be cemented in place permanently. After this, you are done!
What are the different types of crowns for teeth?
There are 3 types of crowns that you can utilize for the capping procedure. Depending on what you prefer you can receive a crown made out of one of the following:
- Gold – Gold crowns are both attention-getters and resistant to corrosion. This makes them a popular choice for crowns for those who prefer this particular look over a more standard crown that would match the other teeth.
- Porcelain – This matches your natural teeth more than a gold crown, but porcelain can be chipped. This is a popular option but it is not the most durable available, with a typical replacement cycle of approximately every 5 – 8 years .
- Porcelain infused with metal – This is the most popular option, as this has the tooth-matching properties due to the porcelain but it is much more durable, due to a framework of metal within the crown.
Which cap is better for my teeth: Gold or Porcelain with metal?
This is simply going to be a matter of personal aesthetics. Both the gold and the metal-infused porcelain crowns are durable and long lasting. The gold crown is going to be more resistant to chipping but if you want a durable crown that matches your current teeth then the metal-infused porcelain is the way to go.
Are crowns only used to cover an eroded tooth?
This is the primary function of crowns but not the only one. Crowns are also employed for capping implants, anchoring a dental bridge, and supporting a large filling if there is not enough left of the natural tooth. Due to their cosmetic value, many people get their teeth crowned simply in order to create a dazzling smile, much like people do with dental veneers.
What are better: veneers or crowns?
This will depend on your purpose. Both options are quite durable and can provide you with a ‘Hollywood smile’. If the reason that you would be getting them is purely aesthetics then
“Both options are quite durable and can provide you with a ‘Hollywood smile’.”
veneers might be the best fit for you. If, however, you are getting work done due to decay, a root canal, or general erosion damage then a crown is going to be your best bet. This is because veneers are attached to the front of a tooth whereas a crown, by contrast, completely encapsulates a tooth. Veneers are better suited for minor misalignment in teeth, staining, or cracks that are noticeable in your teeth when you smile.
Will the crowns look natural?
In most cases, yes. If you have been taking care of your teeth then the crowns should blend right in, although they will typically be a bit whiter than your natural teeth. This is barely noticeable, unless you have NOT been taking care of your teeth, in which case you’ll have a perfectly white tooth in the middle of stained or possibly yellowed teeth. To this end it is recommended that in addition to brushing and flossing daily that you make time to visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings so that all of your teeth can absolutely brilliant. This way, your crowns will be completely unnoticeable and you’ll get the bonus of LESS dental visits overall.
Today we have talked about crowns. No different from ‘caps’, this procedure is an excellent way to take a misshapen or eroded tooth and transform it into a perfect one. Just be sure to pick the most durable option and to take good care of your teeth afterwards, so that you don’t have to visit the dentist again anytime soon (beyond those regular cleanings, of course!).