Getting teeth capped is one of the most common dental procedures. A tooth cap is a dental restoration that restores the tooth’s function and appearance and protects it from further damage. Tooth caps can be made from a variety of materials such as metal, porcelain, composite resin, or a combination of materials. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits of getting teeth capped and the different types of tooth caps that are available.
When Getting Teeth Capped is Necessary?
A tooth cap, also known as a dental crown, covers the damaged tooth to strengthen it and protect it from further damage. Broken and damaged teeth can cause sensitivity and chewing problems. They also can affect your smile, which will lower your self-confidence. Getting your teeth capped is necessary in the following cases:
- Cracked, chipped, or broken teeth. Read more about putting a crown on a cracked tooth.
- Severely worn teeth.
- Teeth with a large tooth-filling.
- After root canal treatment.
- Misshapen or severely discolored teeth.
Benefits of Getting Damaged Teeth Capped
There are many benefits of getting teeth capped. Some of these benefits include:
- Restoring the tooth’s function and appearance.
- Preventing weak teeth from breaking or cracking.
- Preventing the tooth from further damage.
- Improving your chewing ability.
- Improving your smile.
- Boosting your self-confidence.
Types of Tooth Caps
Tooth caps can be made from a variety of materials including:
- Metals: metal caps can be made from a variety of metals, including gold, palladium, nickel, and chromium. Metal tooth caps are strong and durable and can last for many years. They can withstand chewing and biting forces. However, they are not aesthetic.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM): this type is usually made from a combination of metal alloy and porcelain. The base is made from a metal alloy, and the porcelain is fused to the metal to match the color of natural teeth. Porcelain-fused-to-metal caps are strong, durable, and look natural.
- All-ceramic: this type is made entirely from ceramic materials. They are strong, durable, and more aesthetically pleasing than porcelain-fused-to-metal caps because there is no metal. However, they are more expensive than PFM caps.
- All-resin: this type is made entirely from acrylic or composite resin material. All-resin caps are used as temporary caps because they are not strong and can break with long-term use. Read more about the uses of a temporary cap for a broken tooth.
Before getting your teeth capped, it is important to consult with your dentist to decide which type of cap is best for you. Your dentist will take into account the condition of your teeth, your budget, and the look that you are trying to achieve.
How Getting Teeth Capped Work?
Getting teeth capped is a simple and quick procedure that usually requires two visits to the dentist.
During the First Visit
Your dentist will examine your mouth and take x-rays for the damaged teeth to determine the severity of the damage. If there is an infection or the damage is too severe, your dentist may recommend a root canal treatment before getting your teeth capped. During the first appointment, your dentist will:
- Give you a local anesthetic to numb the area.
- Prepare the tooth by filing down and removing part of the outer layer of the tooth.
- Take impressions for the prepared tooth and surrounding teeth to send them to the lab.
- Apply a temporary cap to the prepared tooth to protect it until getting the permanent cap. Read more about what to do if your temporary crown fells off after root canal.
During the Second Visit
The lab will create the permanent tooth cap based on the impressions taken during the first visit. At the second visit, your dentist will:
- Remove the temporary cap from the prepared tooth.
- Place the permanent cap on your prepared tooth and make any adjustments to make sure it fits properly.
- Cement the cap in place.
Getting Teeth Capped at The Same Day
Some dentists offer the option of getting teeth capped on the same day. The cap is made in a dentist’s office by special equipment called computer-aided design/computer-aided manufacturing (CAD/CAM). However, not all dentists offer this service, and it is more expensive than getting the tooth cap done in two visits.
Complications of Getting Teeth Capped
Like any other dental procedure, getting teeth capped can sometimes lead to complications. Some of the more common complications include:
- Discomfort or sensitivity: if the tooth pulp is vital, you may feel sensitivity after tooth preparation, which will go away after getting the permanent cap. If the pain continues, your dentist may recommend a root canal treatment.
- Chipped cap: porcelain caps may chip if you bite into something hard or if you grind your teeth at night. If the chip is large, you may need to replace the cap. Read more about how to repair a chipped crown with exposed metal.
- The dark line between the gum and cap: this may occur with porcelain-fused-to-metal caps due to the metal showing through the gum tissue, which causes an unaesthetic look. If this happens, your dentist may recommend replacing the old cap with an all-porcelain cap.
- Cap falls off: getting teeth capped is a permanent procedure, but the cap may come off if it doesn’t fit properly.
- Allergic reaction: in rare cases, some people may have an allergic reaction to the metal in the cap.
Alternatives to Getting Teeth Capped
The treatment depends on the severity of the damage and the condition of the tooth. There are other alternatives to getting teeth capped including:
- Composite bonding: this is a procedure where a tooth-colored resin is applied to the damaged tooth and then hardened with ultra-violet light. Tooth bonding is suitable for areas with small fractures or damage. However, they do not last as long as getting teeth capped.
- Dental veneers: These are thin, porcelain covers that are bonded to the front of the tooth. Dental veneers are a good option for front teeth that are discolored, chipped, or misshapen.
- Tooth extraction: if the tooth is severely damaged and can’t be restored, your dentist will recommend tooth extraction and replacing it with a dental implant or bridge.
Visit your dentist as soon as possible if you notice damage to your teeth. Getting teeth capped is a good way to restore damaged teeth and prevent them from getting worse.
Getting Teeth Capped – Conclusion
Getting teeth capped is a common procedure that can restore the function of damaged teeth and improve their appearance. A tooth cap is a good option for weak, broken, cracked, severely worn, misshapen, and severely discolored teeth. There are several different types of caps, depending on the material used, for example, metal, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or all-ceramic. Getting teeth capped is usually done in two visits. Visit your dentist to find out if getting teeth capped is the right treatment for you and what are alternatives suitable for you.