Almost everyone aspires to have a perfect smile, and nowadays achieving that perfect smile is made easier than ever thanks to all the dental procedures available. No longer do people have to deal with imperfect teeth since there are both surgical and non-surgical dental treatment methods that can help individuals have picture perfect, straight teeth that look dazzling when they smile. One of the most common types of dental solutions to help individuals achieve more aesthetically-pleasing smiles is dental caps.
What Are Dental Caps?
Dental caps, also referred to as dental crowns, are simply “caps” that are shaped like regular teeth and fit over a patient’s real tooth. The cap essentially covers the desired tooth to give it the appearance of a perfectly-shaped tooth. So realistic are dental caps in appearance that in most cases people don’t even realize that individuals have dental caps placed on their teeth unless the wearer of the caps inform them that they do. The dental caps completely cover the visible part of the tooth they are placed over from the gum line upwards.
When Are Dental Caps Needed?
While many people choose to get dental caps to help restore the shape and size of their teeth, there are plenty of other instances when dentists might recommend that patients get dental caps. For instance, in addition to using dental caps to improve a tooth’s appearance, dentists might also suggest that patients get dental caps to help protect weak teeth from decay when there is danger of the tooth breaking off, chipping or cracking further, to help restore teeth that are already broken or have become severely worn down over time and pose the threat of breaking, to cover teeth that have large fillings that could possibly fall out, to help affix dental bridges into place, to cover dental implants when patients have had a stud implanted into their gums to take the place of a missing tooth and to help cover severely discolored teeth that cannot simply be fixed with a simple whitening treatment.
Types of Dental Caps
Dental caps are constructed from a variety of materials, and while some materials tend to be stronger than others, others might not be as noticeable as stronger materials. For instance, some dental caps are made of stainless steel, and while these types of dental caps tend to be the strongest, they have a metallic appearance, so some patients don’t wish to have them placed over their teeth because they won’t have the same natural tooth-like appearance as the rest of the teeth within their mouths. In most cases, stainless steel dental caps are used as a temporary measure while a permanent dental cap is fashioned from another material that is more natural-looking.
In addition to metallic dental caps, dental caps can also be constructed of a variety of other metals. Gold, chromium, palladium and nickel alloys are all examples of the types of metallic dental caps that patients can get. Most of the time, patients who choose to get these metallic types of dental caps are having teeth in the back of their mouths capped where the metal won’t be as noticeable as it would have been if it was positioned near the front of the mouth. The most advantageous aspect about these metallic dental caps is that they are strong enough to withstand biting and chewing and, therefore, tend to last longer than any other types of dental caps on the market.
Then, there are porcelain-fused-to-metal caps. These types of caps are primarily constructed of metal, but they have porcelain overlain atop the metal so that the caps have the appearance of the natural tooth. These caps have the strength of metal dental caps, but they have a more natural appearance. However, sometimes the metal can show through beneath the porcelain as a dark line.
For those individuals who don’t want to chance any porcelain chipping off and showing the metal beneath it, there are all-resin, all-ceramic and all-porcelain dental caps. All these types of dental caps have the most natural-looking appearance. However, they don’t tend to last as long as their metal counterparts. All-resin dental caps are the least expensive. However, they tend to deteriorate faster than any other type of dental cap. All-ceramic and all-porcelain dental caps are the most popular choices for front teeth and people who have allergies to metals, but they aren’t as strong as porcelain-fused-to-metal or metal dental caps.
Colgate. “What are dental crowns and tooth bridges?” Retrieved on June 7, 2016, from http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/cosmetic-dentistry/bridges-and-crowns/article/what-are-dental-crowns-and-tooth-bridges.
MedicineNet. “Dental crowns (dental caps).” Retrieved on June 7, 2016, from http://www.medicinenet.com/dental_crowns/article.htm.
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