What is a Tooth Cap?

What is a tooth Cap

If you’re like most people, the term “tooth cap” probably doesn’t mean much to you. In fact, it’s a term that many people are unsure of. What is a tooth cap? Is it the same as a dental crown? What’s the difference between the two? In this blog post, we will answer all of these questions and more!

What is a tooth cap?

dental crown being placed over tooth

A tooth cap, also known as a dental crown, is a type of dental restoration that is used to cover a damaged or misshapen tooth. The terms “caps” and “crowns” are often used interchangeably because they are both describing the same thing. Cap is simply the older term used, whereas crown is the more modern term. Like both names suggest, however, dental caps/crowns are designed to fit over the top of the tooth. In fact a cap/crown will cover the entire visible tooth surface.

There are many reasons why a person may need a tooth cap. Some of these reasons include:

  • to restore a broken tooth
  • to repair a cracked tooth
  • to cover a discolored or stained tooth
  • to provide support for a dental bridge
  • to improve the appearance of a tooth
  • to even out the bite

What are tooth caps made from?

There are a variety of dental materials that can be used to fabricate dental crowns. These materials include:

  • Porcelain: this is a popular choice because it can be matched to the color of your natural teeth. Porcelain crowns are also very strong and durable.
  • Ceramic: ceramic crowns are also a good choice for matching the color of your natural teeth. They are not quite as strong as porcelain crowns, but they are still durable.
  • Zirconia: this is a strong, durable material that can also be matched to the color of your natural teeth.
  • Gold: gold crowns are very strong and durable, but they are not often used anymore because they are not as aesthetically pleasing.
  • PFM (porcelain-fused-to-metal): this type of crown is made of metal with porcelain fused to the surface. It is strong and durable, but can sometimes show the metal underneath.
  • Composite Resin: this type of crown is made of a plastic resin that is matched to the color of your natural teeth. It is not as strong or durable as other materials, but it is less expensive. It is often used for temporary crowns.
  • Stainless Steel: this type of crown is often used for children’s primary teeth. It is also used for temporary crowns.

The type of material used will depend on the location of the tooth being crowned, the patient’s personal preference, and whether the crown is temporary or permanent. Permanent crowns are made of dental materials that are designed to last for many years. Temporary crowns, on the other hand, are made of softer materials that are only meant to last for a short period of time. This is because temporary crowns are placed before the permanent crown is made. The purpose of a temporary crown is to protect the tooth while the permanent crown is being fabricated.

How are tooth caps placed?

The process of having a tooth crowned is usually divided into two appointments. The first appointment is when the tooth is prepared and the temporary crown is placed. The second appointment is when the permanent crown is placed. In some cases, an in-office milling machine can shorten this process into a single appointment since there is no waiting on a dental lab to fabricate the permanent crown.

tooth being prepared for dental crown

During the first appointment, the dentist will numb the area around the tooth to be crowned. Next, they will remove any decay or damaged tissue. Once the tooth is prepared, an impression will be made. This impression will be used to create the permanent crown. In some cases, a digital scan may be used in place of an impression. A temporary crown will then be placed over the prepared tooth to protect it until the permanent crown is ready.

During the second appointment, the temporary crown will be removed and the permanent crown will be checked for fit. If the fit is good, then the tooth will be cleaned and polished. The permanent crown will then be cemented into place. Dental crowns generally last about 10-15 years when properly cared for.

Dental sedation can make the process of having a tooth crowned easier and less anxiety-inducing. Nitrous oxide (laughing gas) is a mild sedative that can help you relax during the procedure. Oral sedation is another option for those who experience dental anxiety. This involves taking a pill before the appointment to help you feel more relaxed.

In Conclusion

In this blog post, we have answered the question: what is a tooth cap? by providing a basic definition of a dental cap/crown and what the difference is between the two. We have also reviewed reasons why a dental cap would be necessary. Next, we described the different dental materials used to make dental crowns, as well as the difference between a permanent and temporary crown. Finally, we described the process of having a dental crown placed and how dental sedation can make this process easier for those with dental anxiety. We hope that this blog post has been helpful in answering your questions about tooth caps! Thanks for reading!

Dan Davidian, DDS

Dr. Dan Davidian received his Doctorate of Dental Surgery from UNC School of Dentistry and  trained at Ohio State in advanced Airway Management. He Trained at the Medical College of Georgia and received his IV sedation Certificate as well as additional Advanced Life Support Training. Dr. Davidian holds a fellowship from the International Congress of Oral Implantologists: ICOI and has additional training in: complete cosmetic restorations and makeovers, mini-dental implant restoration and placement for denture stabilization, same-day implant placement and restoration, and cosmetic and neuromuscular rehabilitation. 

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