Cap or Crown? What’s the difference?

Have you been feeling a bit self-conscious about your smile? Do you have damaged or missing teeth that lower your confidence when talking with people? If these things apply to you, consider getting a dental crown for your teeth. It is one of the most commonly used cosmetic dentistry procedures to adorn you with that perfect smile. 

In this article, let’s understand dental crowns and how they differ from dental caps. We will also explore who needs a dental crown and how to maintain it after getting one for your teeth.


Are Caps and Crowns the Same Thing? 

Many people want to know the difference between a crown and a cap used on teeth. As it turns out, both refer to the same cosmetic dentistry procedure. While dentists and other medical professionals use the term ‘dental crown,’ others who don’t work in the medical field mostly use the word ‘cap.’ 

What Is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown is, in essence, a cap-like covering for your damaged tooth. It covers the visible part of the natural tooth and improves your smile, and makes the tooth stronger and more resistant to chipping or damage. 

What is a dental crown for? Why is it used, and who would require a dental crown?

Over time, as one ages or experiences trauma, the strength and rigidity of the teeth change. Due to this, the teeth run the risk of getting damaged. Moreover, in the absence of a good oral hygiene routine, your teeth may also get infected. All these factors may lead to your tooth changing its shape or size.

Here are some reasons why you may need a cosmetic dentistryprocedure like a crown:

  • When the tooth has severe decay that dental fillings cannot fix.
  • When your tooth has broken, the dentist wants to protect it from further damage.
  • You have a dental bridge or an implant that needs to be held in place.
  • Your teeth are either misshapen or severely discolored.
  • When you have a large filling but don’t have much of a supporting tooth structure left.
  • You have undergone a root canal, and the treated tooth needs to be covered.

Different Types of Dental Crowns

Varied materials are used to make dental crowns, each having its unique benefits. Let’s take a look at the most common types of crown materials:

  • Metal: Metals such as palladium, nickel, chromium, and gold are routinely used in cosmetic dentistry to make crowns. The benefit of metal crowns is that they last the longest and only require a small portion of your tooth to be removed. However, their color stands out from the rest of your natural teeth. This is why they are preferred for your out-of-sight molars.
  • Porcelain fused to metal: This dental crown has a porcelain top with metal under its cover. It can be matched to compliment your natural teeth and is easily used to restore your front teeth. However, these crowns are less durable than all-metal crowns and may chip if you bite on hard foods.
  • All porcelain or ceramic: As the name suggests, these crowns perfectly match your natural teeth. Made in a single material, they are perfect for people with metal allergies. They are quite durable also. 

The Process of Fitting a Dental Crown

A dental crown can be fitted in two different ways. If you are getting a temporary crown, here is the usual procedure that is followed:

  • On the day of the first visit, your dentist will examine the damaged tooth. They may also take X-rays or molds of your mouth.
  • Your dentist will then remove the outer layer of the tooth to even it down.
  • An impression will be made of your trimmed tooth along with the surrounding teeth.
  • A temporary crown is set over the tooth that needs to be restored.
  • The impressions will be sent to the associated lab to make a permanent crown. 
  • The crown will then be placed on your teeth on your second visit, which may take place after several weeks. 

Another option is to get a same-day permanent crown. This process involves the following steps:

  • Your dentist will take a digital picture of your mouth.
  • With these pictures, a crown will be created right there in the dental office. This is usually a couple of hours.
  • Once the crown is ready to go, it will be secured into place on your teeth.

 How Long Do Crowns Last?

Dental crowns are long-term cosmetic dentistryrestorations lasting between ten and thirty years. This is, however, only possible when you maintain good oral hygiene and take care of the crowns. 

 How To Maintain a Dental Crown?

Listed below are five ways in which you can prolong the life of your dental crown:

  • Have a regular oral hygiene routine that includes brushing your teeth twice daily for two minutes. 
  • Follow this with flossing and rinsing your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash.
  • If you have sensitive teeth, consider using toothpaste meant for sensitive teeth.
  • Never chew on hard foods. This may cause your crown to crack.
  • Do you suffer from bruxism? Your dentist may potentially advise you to use a night guard.

 Are There Any Issues One Can Experience With a Dental Crown?

While dental crowns have significant benefits for damaged teeth, they may also pose certain complications. Some of these may include:

  • Your crowned tooth may become sensitive to air or hot and cold foods.
  • They may chip while biting onto hard foods.
  • A crown may loosen or even fall off if it is not cemented well.
  • If the area around the crown is not cleaned correctly, it may increase the risk of gum disease.


The Bottom Line

Modern dentistry has come a long way. Especially when it comes to dental crowns, patients can now choose from various purposes to match their specific needs. However, once you get a crown for your teeth, ensure that you maintain it well to last for a long time. 

Want more information? Contact Torbram Dental today! 

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