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Dental Caps or Crowns: An Overview

A dental cap — sometimes also referred to as a dental crown — is a fixed prosthetic device that completely encircles or caps a tooth or a dental implant. Unlike removable dentures, a dental cap is designed to be a permanent solution to a dental issue. It is cemented into place by your dentist and can only be removed by your dentist as well.

Benefits of Using a Dental Cap

A dental cap can be used to improve both the way a tooth looks and its functionality. It can also help protect a tooth from further decay. A tooth that has become misshapen or discolored can be covered up with a dental crown so that it matches the teeth surrounding it. Even broken or chipped teeth can sometimes be treated by using a dental cap. Doing so helps strengthen the tooth in addition to giving it a more uniform appearance.

Another benefit of using a dental crown is that its placement requires fewer appointments — and therefore less time — for you to be at your dentist’s office when compared to removable dentures, prostheses supported by implants and dental bridges. Though it depends on the type of crown and your individual situation, in most cases, the procedure takes between two and four visits.

A third benefit that patients have expressed about dental caps is that they take less time to get used to than other dental devices such as dental bridges and removable dentures. Their small size and placement contribute to the feeling that patients experience with most getting used to a dental crown in about one to four weeks.

Are You a Candidate for a Dental Cap?

While your dentist is the best one to make the choice regarding your need for a dental cap, the following conditions are often present when people have dental crowns:

  • A large filling that needs replacement often weakens the tooth further once it is removed. A dental cap not only makes the tooth more aesthetically pleasing, it also increases its strength.
  • A tooth that has been broken or fractured to the point where it can no longer be fixed using a filling is often a good candidate for a dental cap. Trauma to the area or progressive dental decay are two common ways that a tooth becomes fractured or broken.
  • If your tooth has experienced advanced tooth destruction in the form of a large cavity that threatens the integrity of the tooth itself, a dental crown can provide the added strength that the tooth needs. In these cases, the tooth is first filled before being fitted with a dental cap.

How Long Can Dental Caps Last?

As with other types of dental devices, the key to longevity is good oral care and regular visits to the dentist. Taken care of properly, you can expect a dental crown to last for about 15 years or even longer.

At Dupont Dental, we carefully assess your needs to determine the best strategy for your dental issues. Schedule an appointment with us today by giving us a call!

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