Dental Caps & Caps

As far as a dental restoration goes, crowns and caps are used synonymously.

Crowns are synthetic caps, usually made of a material like porcelain, placed on the top of a tooth.

Crowns are typically used to restore a tooth's function and appearance following a restorative procedure such as a root canal. When decay in a tooth has become so advanced that large portions of the tooth must be removed, crowns are often used to restore the tooth.

Crowns are also used to attach bridges, cover implants, prevent a cracked tooth from becoming worse, or an existing filling is in jeopardy of becoming loose or dislocated. Crowns also serve an aesthetic use, and are applied when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to its natural appearance.

Procedures

A tooth is usually reduced in size to accommodate a crown. An impression is taken and a cast is made of the existing teeth. The impression is sent to a special lab, which manufactures a custom-designed crown. In some cases, a temporary crown is applied until the permanent crown is ready. Permanent crowns are cemented in place.

Crowns are sometimes confused with veneers, but they are quite different. Veneers are typically applied only to relatively small areas.

Caring For Your Crowns

With proper care, a good quality crown could last many years. It is very important to floss in the area of the crown to avoid excess plaque or collection of debris around the restoration.

 

 

This patient had four porcelain crowns placed on her front four teeth from a previous dentist due to a rollerblading accident. She was not happy with the color and she felt that they did not look very life-like. She had also chipped the tooth on the far left.


 

The previous crowns were removed and after two appointments the new porcelain crowns were cemented. They now have the appearance of natural teeth and a have definite lifelike quality to them, which made the patient very happy.

Homecare After Cosmetic Procedures

Your investment in your smile will give you many years of enjoyment and satisfaction. Remember that it will take time to adjust to the feel of your new bite. When the bite is altered or the position of the teeth is changed, it takes several days for the brain to recognize the new position of your teeth or their thickness as normal.
If you continue to detect any high spots or problems with your bite, call us so we can schedule an adjustment appointment. It’s normal to experience some hot, cold, and pressure sensitivity. Removing tooth structure and placement of new materials may result in a period of adjustment. Your gums may also be sore for several days.
Rinse three times a day with warm salt water to reduce pain and swelling.

Mild pain medication should ease your discomfort during the adjustment period. Don’t be concerned if your speech is affected for the first few days. You’ll quickly adapt and be speaking normally.

You may notice increased salivary flow. Your brain may respond to the new size and shape of your teeth by increasing salivary flow. This should subside to normal within a week or so. Daily plaque removal is critical for the long-term success of your dental work. Maintain a regular oral hygiene routine. Daily brushing and flossing is a must.
Regular cleaning appointments in our office are also critically important. We’ll use the appropriate cleaning abrasives and techniques for your specific cosmetic work. It’s important to change habits to protect your new teeth. Any food that could chip, crack, or damage your natural teeth can do the same to your new cosmetic restorations. Avoid sticky candies, any unusually hard foods or substances, such as peanut brittle, fingernails, pencils or ice. Avoid or minimize your use of foods that stain, such as tea, coffee, red wine, and berries. Smoking will quickly yellow your teeth.

Let us know if you grind your teeth at night or engage in sports so we can make you a custom mouth guard.

Adjusting to the look and feel of your new smile will take time. If you have any problems or concerns, we always welcome your questions.