When you have a damaged tooth and go to a dentist, you may be told that you will need to have a new crown put on it. Some people may refer to them as caps, but crowns & caps refer to the same thing. They provide your tooth with a brand new look that will restore it and enhance your smile.

Why a Crown May Be Needed

When a tooth develops a cavity and needs to be repaired, the cavity may be too large to be filled. In other situations, the tooth may be cracked, malformed, too short, discolored, or damaged in some other way. A dental crown will enable the visible portion of the tooth to be shaped as desired.

Crowns may also be made for other purposes as well. They can be placed in a series to form a bridge, used to anchor a bridge, put on partial or complete dentures, or on top of a dental implant.

Preparing the Tooth

When a tooth is going to be made ready to receive a crown, the dentist will first remove some of the enamel. This step is taken to ensure that the crown has a solid surface to adhere to when it is placed. If there are not enough surfaces for the crown to attach to, the tooth will likely be extracted. Since crowns & capsneed to be made in a lab, a temporary crown will often be placed until the permanent one comes from the lab.

Types of Crowns

Dental crowns come in a variety of types and materials. Each type has its own benefits or problems. They include:

  • Stainless steel– Used for children to cover primary teeth that show evidence of decay. The cap saves money and avoids repeated dental visits for treatment.
  • Metal crowns– Although they are very visible, they also are the most durable. They are made of a mix of metals but may contain high amounts of gold or platinum. Chromium is another metal often used.
  • Porcelain crowns– This type of crown is the most natural-looking. A porcelain crown can be all-porcelain or porcelain fused to metal. When a metal base is used, it adds strength to the crown.
  • Composite resin– This type of crown is made of the same material that is used in white dental fillings. It is not as durable as other types and should only be used on teeth that are not subject to high biting pressure.

Protecting the Crowns

Once dental crowns are in place, you still need to practice good oral hygiene. Although the crowns will not decay, the tooth and gums under them can still develop cavities or gum disease. Making regular dental visits can help all your teeth last longer because it enables the dentist to spot problems early and treat them.

The dentists at Bright White Dental can provide you with crowns & caps to help enhance your smile. We also help to protect your teeth and smile with preventive dentistry.