People are always looking to improve on nature's handiwork, especially when it comes to their appearance. As far as dental work goes, cosmetic dentistry can achieve some amazing results. So, what's the difference between a tooth cap vs crown? A tooth cap, also known as a cosmetic crown, is a popular option for correcting minor imperfections, so read on to learn how they may help you perfect your smile.
When to Consider Crowns
Cosmetic crowns, also known as caps, are ideal if you have one or two teeth that are damaged or unsightly. A cap can be applied to a single tooth or to several teeth in a row, which makes them a viable option for your most visible teeth. If you have a reasonably good bite but your teeth are irregular, or if you have one or more cracked, decayed or discolored teeth and prefer to avoid wearing a partial bridge or denture, a crown might be the answer.
What's Involved in the Procedure
Fitting your tooth cap takes place in your dentist's office in two stages. First, you'll need a consultation with the dentist to determine whether this is the best option for you. If it is, your dentist will need to prepare your tooth to receive the crown. If you have deep cavities in any of the teeth you plan to crown, you may need to see an endodontist to determine if a root canal is necessary. The dentist will also have to ensure each tooth is the right size to support a crown.
At this appointment, the dentist will also take an impression of your mouth to send to the dental lab where your permanent crown is made. Typically, you'll also be fitted with a temporary crown while you wait for the permanent one to be constructed. In some cases, your permanent crown takes a couple of weeks to deliver, although more and more dentists now have the technology to make permanent crowns on site.
The dentist will remove the temporary crown and place your permanent one at your second appointment. When you're both satisfied with the fit and appearance of your crown or crowns, the permanent cap is cemented into position using dental cement.
Pros and Cons
A permanent tooth cap or cosmetic crown can last up to 15 years if you take good care of it, according to the Cleveland Clinic. However, it can become loose and fall out. In the case that it does fall out, your dentist may be able to refit it. Crowns will improve the appearance of your smile as well as individual teeth while protecting them. Caps also help to maintain the spacing of your other teeth, which prevents them from loosening and shifting, which may result in a bad bite or malocclusion.
Two of the disadvantages of choosing crowns over other options are the placement process is longer and costs more than tooth bonding. On the plus side, crowns are strong and can last a long time.
Caring for Crowns
The most important aspect of caring for cosmetic dentistry is maintaining a good oral hygiene routine. Twice daily brushing with a toothpaste that contains fluoride, daily flossing and the use of an antibacterial mouthwash, like Colgate Total Advanced Pro-Shield, will help keep your mouth clean and significantly reduce plaque.
Choosing a tooth cap or crown can be a great option to improve your smile and restore your confidence. Consult your dentist to determine if it's the right treatment for you.