Dental caps are common. In fact, the number of Americans with dental caps is on the rise. According to the American Academy of Implant Dentistry, 15 million people in the United States have caps put in place of missing teeth. Malvika Tickoo, DMD, and the dentists at Skyview Dental Partners, LLC in Edgewater, New Jersey, are experienced professionals, so if you think you may need a cap, book an appointment online or call today.
A dental cap — commonly called a "crown" — is a tooth-shaped restoration that’s made by a machine, usually in a dental laboratory. Caps are designed to cover your entire tooth and strengthen it if it’s affected by decay, discoloration, cracks, or chips.
The cap acts as a protective covering, as it's fitted over the original tooth so that the visible portion of the tooth is encased. It's sealed in place with dental cement. Sometimes a cap is placed over a tooth that has had a root canal, or one that has had a large filling, to help keep the tooth strong for biting and chewing.
Caps can also be used to hold a dental bridge in place or to cover a dental implant.
Dental cap construction has advanced over the years. There are a wide variety of materials that Dr. Tickoo may recommend for your cap, including:
Dr. Tickoo may choose to use a metal alloy (a mixture of metals) for a crown, including gold alloy (also known as noble or high noble) or a base-metal alloy, which gives a silver appearance.
This type of crown is the most natural-looking since its color and translucency can be designed to closely match surrounding teeth.
Dr. Tickoo may recommend a porcelain fused to metal cap. Covering a metal crown with porcelain creates a more natural-looking crown.
Placing a permanent dental cap typically takes two dental office visits. During the first visit, Dr. Tickoo takes an impression of the prepared tooth. If the tooth is very decayed or otherwise too small to hold the cap, Dr. Tickoo may "build up" the tooth to hold the cap.
Once the tooth is shaped, Dr. Tickoo sends the impression to the dental laboratory that will make the custom crown. If Dr. Tickoo is placing a porcelain or porcelain fused to metal cap, she will also determine a shade of porcelain to match the surrounding teeth. You may also be fitted with a temporary cap.
At the second visit, Dr. Tickoo will remove the temporary cap and test the fit of the new cap. If the new cap fits and the color is correct, Dr. Tickoo will numb the tooth and surrounding gums and cement the cap in place. Dr. Tickoo will then evaluate your teeth to make sure the capped tooth fits with the bite of your other teeth.
With good care, they can last a long time! Current research shows that more than 90% of crowns will not require major treatment within five years, and 50 to 80% of crowns will last between 15 and 20 years. It's important to remember that just like a "real" tooth, the life of your crown depends on how you care for it. You should continue to follow good dental hygiene practices including brushing twice a day, flossing, and seeing your dentist on a regular basis.
Would you like to learn more about dental crowns? Think you might need a crown replaced? Contact the experienced professionals at Skyview Dental Partners, LLC or make an appointment online.