Placing crowns on damaged teeth or over implants has long been a go-to procedure as part of a smile makeover and to maintain a healthy mouth. A dental crown doesn’t interfere with your eating or lifestyle because it’s held in place with strong adhesives, making it last for many years. When you trust your family dentist to provide you with crowns when you need them, you reduce any risks from the process.
When you’ve broken a tooth, your dentist at Albany County Dental Associates may recommend a dental crown. Also called a tooth cap or dental cap, a dental crown is a great way to improve a damaged tooth’s appearance and shape, while protecting the root and pulp.
Damaged teeth can make you feel self-conscious about your outward appearance. When a tooth cap is placed over a tooth, it restores the tooth to its normal shape and size. It also improves its appearance so that it looks natural.
Why Your Dentist Recommends Dental Caps
There are several different reasons why your cosmetic dentist may recommend a dental cap. Some of the most common reasons for teeth crowns include:
- Hold together a tooth that’s cracked or decaying
- Restore a tooth that’s been severely worn down or broken
- Correct a misshaped, discolored or unattractive tooth
- Cover an implant
- Attach a bridge
- Prevent further decay following a root canal
A pediatric dentist may recommend teeth crowns for a child to protect baby teeth from decay or to save teeth that are already showing signs of decay, but can’t be saved with a filling. Whatever reason your dentist recommends a tooth cap, for children or adults, it results in a tooth that’s stronger and looks better.
Dental Crowns over Implants
Dental implants are used for a variety of reasons, including stabilizing your jaw when you’ve had extensive tooth loss. Once an implant is secured, your dentist places a crown over the top of the implant.
The Mayo Clinic agrees: “A dental implant is a metal post that replaces the root portion of a missing tooth. An artificial tooth crown is placed on an extension of the post or abutment on the dental implant, giving you the look of a real tooth.”
What Materials Are Used for Dental Crowns?
A crown can be made from many different types of materials. Your Albany County dentist considers which type of crown will be most effective for you. Your tooth cap should fit comfortably and look as natural as possible. That’s one of the benefits of having a cosmetic dentist do your crowns.
Some of the most frequently used materials include:
- Porcelain or ceramic. Porcelain crowns provide a natural color match to your teeth than other choices.
- Metal alloys. Those that contain metal alloys such as gold, platinum or nickel-chromium last a long time and can withstand the impact of biting and chewing, best for molars.
- Composite resin. If you’re concerned about dental crown cost, crowns made of resin are an affordable choice, but may be prone to fractures. They may wear down sooner than other, more expensive options. Your dental team works with you to find the most affordable solutions that serve you the best.
Preparing for a Dental Cap
The procedure for getting a crown takes more than one visit. At the first visit, your dentist takes x-rays and determines if the root of the tooth is healthy or not. If not, you may need root canal treatment.
Your family dentist removes decay and part of the outside of the tooth and makes an impression of the tooth receiving the crown. A temporary crown may be placed until the permanent crown is ready, which usually takes a couple of weeks. The permanent crown is cemented in place at the second visit.
Risks of the Procedure
For the most part, getting a dental cap is a safe procedure, but there is some risk of infection or complications with any type of dental procedure. After the first visit when the area is prepared, you may experience some discomfort such as sensitivity to hot or cold. An abscess could form on the root of the tooth during this time, but that’s rare.
Allergic reactions are another possible complication. Some people are allergic to materials used to make dental crowns, such as different types of metal. Tell your dentist about any known allergies.
How Expensive Are Dental Caps and How Long Do They Last?
The total dental crown cost depends on the chosen material, along with how many teeth are involved. Dental caps range in price from several hundred to several thousand dollars, part of which may be covered by insurance. Any other necessary procedures may increase your cost.
Dental caps usually last between five and 15 years. Care of crowns is similar to care for your natural teeth. Brushing, flossing and regular dental visits prolong the life of your caps. Grinding your teeth or biting your fingernails may damage your crowns and shorten the length of time they last.