Getting a Tooth Cap

Tooth CapTooth caps are quite helpful in the push to restore broken teeth. Tooth caps are typically used to correct cracked teeth that can't retain fillings. They are also used to remedy teeth with large cavities. Some such cavities become so large that there is minimal if any tooth tissue remaining to retain the filling. A tooth cap makes it easy for the dentist to remedy badly damaged teeth that can't hold a filling.

Dental Crown Procedure

Tooth Cap Appearance

Tooth caps are shaped to look like regular teeth. The difference between normal teeth and tooth caps is the interior portion of the tooth cap contains a hollow area that slides in quite nicely over the tooth to be capped. Tooth cap material and color dictate aesthetics. Some tooth caps are made of porcelain while others are made with dental alloys or gold. Porcelain and alloy caps resemble your actual teeth. It is also possible for tooth caps to be comprised of porcelain and dental alloys. These caps look like they are made of alloys covered with porcelain.

The Tooth Cap Procedure

Tooth caps are custom designed to fit the specific tooth in question. The tooth cap can't simply be shaped onto the current tooth to fill the broken spaces as occurs with dental bonding. This procedure will require at least a couple visits. The initial visit with the dentist involves an examination of the tooth to gauge if a cap is necessary.

If it is determined a cap will help, the dentist will perform some prep work on the tooth. It might be necessary to remove a small portion of the natural tooth to allow for ample space in the mouth to accommodate the cap. Once this is complete, an impression of the tooth is made. The dentist uses dental putty to capture the tooth's shape with a detailed impression. The impression is sent to a dental lab technician who creates the tooth cap.

The dentist will place a temporary tooth cap as you wait for the permanent cap to be provided. Once the dental cap is prepared, it is time for the fitting. The dentist will take off the temporary cap and position the permanent cap with dental cement so it is held in place.

Tooth Caps Stand the Test of Time

Once your new tooth cap is affixed with dental cement, it will likely last between five and twenty years. The quality of the tooth cap as well as the materials used to make it ultimately determine its lifespan. In general, the typical tooth cap will last about a decade.

It is possible the tooth cap will loosen or fall off. Such a rare event is typically attributed to an insufficient amount of tooth tissue remaining to support the cap. It might be necessary to extract the tooth and replace it with a bridge or dental implant. However, this is the exception to the rule. Most tooth caps pose no such problems.

Call Montpelier Family Dentistry at (301) 605-1132 for more information from or to schedule an appointment in our dentist office in Laurel.

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