Over time, tooth decay can damage your teeth, which can lead to tooth loss if left untreated. Teeth caps are a type of dental restoration that is used to protect teeth and restore their function and appearance. They cover the damaged teeth to protect them from further damage. They can be made from different types of materials, including porcelain or metal. In this blog post, we will discuss the benefits and types of teeth caps for adults.
Benefits & Uses of Teeth Caps
Teeth caps, also known as dental crowns, are dental restorations that cover teeth to restore their shape and function. Benefits and uses of teeth caps for adults include:
- Restore the biting and chewing functions of teeth
- Protect the damaged teeth from further damage.
- Improve the teeth’ appearance and your smile. Teeth caps can be made to match the natural teeth’ color.
- Cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth.
- Protect weak teeth, for example, teeth with large fillings or have been treated with a root canal.
Types of Teeth Caps for Adults
Teeth caps for adults can be categorized according to the material used to make them. They include:
- Metal teeth caps: they can be made from gold, palladium, or nickel-chromium alloy. Metal teeth caps are affordable, strong, and durable. However, they are unesthetic because of their metallic color. You can read more about a prefabricated stainless steel crown.
- Porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM): These teeth caps consist of a metal base that is covered with a layer of porcelain. The metal base covers the tooth and the porcelain mimic the tooth’s natural color. PFM is the most common teeth cap for adults because it is strong, durable, and aesthetic.
- All-Ceramic teeth caps: they are made entirely from porcelain. They provide the most natural teeth color. However, they are the most expensive tooth caps option for adults.
- All-resin caps: they are made from composite or acrylic resin. All-resin caps are not strong and can break easily. They are usually used as temporary caps.
The Procedure of Teeth Caps for Adults
The teeth caps procedure usually takes two to three visits to the dentist. First, your dentist will examine the tooth and take a few x-rays to determine the best treatment option. If the tooth is severely decayed or the infection reached the tooth pulp, your dentist may perform a root canal treatment before the tooth cap procedure. During the first visit, your dentist will prepare the damaged tooth to receive the tooth cap. The procedure of teeth caps for adults include:
- Anesthetic injection: the teeth caps procedure for adults is usually performed under local anesthesia.
- Preparation of the tooth: your dentist will file down and remove part of the outer layer of the tooth to make space for the crown
- Taking an impression: your dentist will use molding material to take an impression of the teeth and bite and then send it to a dental laboratory for the fabrication of the cap.
- Temporary cap: a temporary cap is usually placed on the prepared tooth to protect it while waiting for the permanent cap. You can read more about what to do if your temporary crown broke off.
During the second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary cap and place the permanent cap over the tooth. Your dentist will check the fitting and color of the permanent tooth cap. Then, your dentist will secure it in place with dental cement.
Same-day Teeth Caps for Adults
With the advances in dental technology, teeth caps for adults can be made in a single visit using CAD/CAM technology. Instead of taking an impression of the teeth, your dentist will use a digital scanner to create a 3D image of the teeth. This 3D image is then used to design the tooth cap.
After that, the crown is fabricated using a computer-controlled milling machine. The whole process takes about an hour. The advantage of same-day teeth caps is that there is no need for a second visit, and you don’t have to wear a temporary cap. However, not all dentists have the CAD/CAM technology, and same-day teeth caps are more expensive than traditional teeth caps.
Tooth Cap Care
It is important to take care of teeth caps to make them last longer. Here are some tips on how to care for teeth caps:
- Brush your teeth twice a day. Teeth caps need to be brushed just like natural teeth. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and fluoride toothpaste. You can read more about oral hygiene basics.
- Floss teeth at least once daily. Flossing is important to remove food particles and plaque from teeth.
- Avoid using your teeth to open things. Teeth caps can crack or break if you use them to open things.
- Avoid chewing or biting on hard objects. Chewing or biting on hard objects such as ice or fingernails can damage teeth caps.
- Visit the dentist regularly. It is important to visit the dentist every six months for teeth cleaning
Teeth caps are usually safe. However, there is a risk of complications such as:
- Discomfort or sensitivity. A newly capped tooth can be sensitive to hot or cold temperatures. Sensitivity may occur due to the tooth preparation/reduction.
- Allergic reaction. It is rare, but some people can have an allergic reaction to the metal used in dental crowns.
- Crown chipping. dental crowns can chip or break, especially if they are made of porcelain. You can read more about how to repair a chipped crown with exposed metal.
- The tooth cap falls off. This may happen because the tooth cover is not properly cemented in place.
- Gum Disease. If the capped tooth begins to accumulate food debris, it can lead to gum disease and tooth decay.
- Dark line on the capped tooth next to the gum line. This can happen if you have a porcelain-fused-to-metal crown. The dark line is due to the metal underneath the porcelain.
Call your dentist if you experience any of these complications.
Teeth caps for adults are a great way to restore damaged teeth. They are made from different materials such as porcelain, ceramic, and metal. It takes two visits to the dentist to get a tooth cap. However, with advances in dental technology, tooth caps can be made in a single visit.
Tooth caps can last for many years with proper care. So, brush your teeth twice a day, floss your teeth at least once daily, and visit the dentist regularly. If you consider getting your teeth capped, talk to your dentist to see if they are the right option for you.