A damaged tooth can often be repaired simply by replacing the visible portion – the crown – if the root is in good shape. This enables a tooth to be saved even when the damage is too much for a filling. Crowns and caps can be used to restore your beautiful smile.
Although both terms – caps and crowns – are often used together, the truth is that they refer to the exact same thing. There is no difference.
Why a New Crown Is Needed
A lot of different problems can occur in teeth – especially in the top part of it. When this happens, a filling may be used; but if it is too big for a filling, a new crown will be put on the tooth. Some reasons for placing a new crown include:
- To improve the shape and appearance of a tooth
- To strengthen a tooth that is damaged
- To cover dental implants
- To provide an anchor for a dental bridge
- To correct an improper bite
- To enhance your smile.
The Materials in Crowns
Crowns and caps are available in different materials. The material chosen will determine how the crown looks, whether it looks natural, white, or metal colored. Materials used include:
- Metal – Gold, palladium, nickel, chromium
- Porcelain – all ceramic
- Porcelain fused to metal (PFM)
- Porcelain fused to zirconia
Each of these types of crowns has both advantages and disadvantages. The advantages of the metal crowns are that they are stronger and more durable than other types. The disadvantage is that they are not tooth-colored and can easily be seen by other people.
The next strongest is the porcelain fused to metal. The stronger base makes this style stronger than the all-ceramic cap, but if the gums recede, the metal base may become visible as a thin black line at the gum line. Zirconia, on the other hand, is white and it does not have this problem. Although all-ceramic crowns look more natural, they do not last as long.
Crowns Made in the Office
Some dentist offices have a milling machine right in the office. If they have this capability, they will also have a digital scanner that can scan your mouth, enabling the dentist to design the perfect crown for your tooth. The machine mills it while you wait and can be attached as soon as it is completed.
If there is no machine present, the tooth will be filed down to the size needed to accept the crown. A temporary crown will then be put in place, which will be made of acrylic or composite resin. A mold of your tooth will be made and sent off to the lab. When you return, the temporary crown will be removed and the permanent one put in place.
A dental crown can usually last from 10 to 20 year. Some types can last much longer, but it also depends on your level of oral care because the tooth under the cap can still decay.
The dentists at Global Family Dental can provide you with many types of crowns and caps. This dental procedure can help restore your smile and give you fresh confidence when in public. Call today about any questions you have or to make an appointment.