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Are Dental Crowns and Caps the Same?
Dental crowns are among the most common types of restorative treatment your dentist will use. This treatment can protect your teeth from suffering further damage. Your dentist may also use one along with a root canal to repair a severe cavity. You may also hear the term dental cap when you learn about treatment options. The two words can be used interchangeably.
Many uses of dental crowns
Patients who come to the dental office with a broken or chipped tooth have a few options to consider. Veneers are popular, but crowns are a viable choice as well. The crown can cover up these blemishes and restore the tooth’s form and function. Crowns also support bridges and are placed on dental implants as well. A patient may even decide to get a cap over the top of a badly discolored or stained tooth.
What they look like
Dental crowns are customized to look like the person’s other teeth. This natural appearance helps improve the patient’s smile. Crowns are usually made of ceramic, though others may come in other materials such as metal alloy or porcelain-fused-to-metal. Each of these different types has advantages and drawbacks. The dentist can help the patient decide which one makes the most sense based on the person’s needs and preferences.
Getting the crown
This process will require at least two visits to the dentist’s office. At the first appointment, the dentist will take X-rays and make impressions of the person’s mouth. These go to a lab where a technician makes the cap to match the color and shape of the adjacent natural teeth. The dentist will numb the patient and will then shave down the affected tooth so the cap can fit over the top. At a subsequent trip to the dentist’s office, the patient is fitted with the crown.
Dental crowns should last up to 15 years. When a patient has a cap, they can resume normal eating habits, though it is essential to be cautious about biting into hard food. As the crown begins to weaken, the dentist will examine the patient and replace the cap.
Care and maintenance
Just like real teeth, the crown requires proper, consistent attention. People who have one should brush and floss daily. Patients may want to avoid sticky and hard food such as gum and certain types of candy. If the patient damages the crown in any way, they should make an appointment with the dentist for repairs or replacement. For athletes, it may help to wear a mouthguard during competition.
The work you need
A broken, chipped or cracked tooth needs a solution you can feel good about. Or, if you plan on getting a bridge or dental implants, you can count on having dental crowns in your mouth. This treatment not only will help you restore your smile, but it can strengthen your tooth and reduce the chances of running into more significant problems. Talk to your dentist today about whether a crown is the right move for your oral health.
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