Your teeth need to be healthy and strong so you can chew properly and maintain your oral health. And if you’re like most of our patients, you want to preserve the beauty of your smile. Dental caps and crowns create a strong structural support for teeth that have been damaged due to decay or injuries. We can also use them to cover up stained or discolored teeth to improve the appearance of your smile.
What Are Caps and Crowns?
Caps and crowns are tooth-shaped covers that fit over individual teeth. Caps can be put on your back teeth strictly to help your teeth function better. They protect teeth that are no longer completely intact. When crowns are put over a front tooth, they can not only provide this structural support, but they can also maintain the appearance of a natural tooth.
Types of Caps and Crowns
You have several options when it comes to covering a tooth with a cap or crown. Many of our patients choose a tooth-colored crown, such as porcelain or composite resin, to cover teeth that are in the front of their mouths. The porcelain crowns are custom-fitted by your dentist and then made in a lab. Composite resin crowns are also made in a lab, and then installed in your mouth by your dentist. Because the back teeth rarely show, many people choose a metal crown to save costs while still protecting the tooth.
- Temporary stainless steel caps
- Porcelain crowns
- Composite resin crowns
- Chromium caps
- Porcelain fused to metal crowns
Cost of Caps and Crowns
The cost of caps and crowns varies depending on three main factors. First, the type of crown you choose will play a large part in the determination of cost. Metal caps, for instance, are more economical to pay for than chromium caps. Second, the type of dental insurance policy you have will determine how much you pay out of pocket. Finally, you might want to consider the average life of the crown to decide if it is the right long-term investment for your teeth. For example, all-resin crowns wear down much more quickly than metal crowns. Porcelain crowns can chip and wear down opposing teeth.
What Is the Procedure for Getting a Cap or Crown?
The first step in fitting a cap or crown is preparing the tooth. Your dentist may need to remove decay or perform root canal therapy first. Then, the dentist shapes the tooth. With the tooth ready to go, your dentist makes an impression for the cap or crown and sends the impression to a lab. To cover and protect your tooth until the permanent crown is made, your dentist places a temporary cap on it. On your next dental visit, the dentist places the crown on the tooth and cements it into place.