If you have weak or worn looking teeth, you may be a good candidate for a dental cap. Tooth decay, cracking of the enamel and even root canals can affect the structural integrity of the teeth and have a negative impact on your smile.
Dental caps are designed to offset these effects by covering the affected tooth with a synthetic compound.
Only certain people are good candidates for a dental cap, and these cosmetic dentistry solutions offer a number of benefits. Here’s a close look at how dental caps work, and what the pros and cons are different types of tooth caps:
What Are Dental Caps?
Dental caps are designed to cover the entire visible surface of the tooth. They can make teeth stronger, more durable and stable in situations where the tooth is fragmented because of excessive tooth grinding, fillings, tooth decay, or from the aging process.
The caps are inserted after a cosmetic dentist makes an impression of the tooth with a soft putty. This mold is sent to a laboratory, and is cemented onto the tooth in one visit. In some cases, the dentist will insert a temporary cap on the tooth to help stabilize it for the real cap. In addition to placing the dental cap, the dentist may stabilize the tooth with a filling. This ensures the tooth structure is strong enough to hold the cap in place. Once cemented in place, the cap is left to dry and you may be required to avoid chewing on it for a few days.
Types of Dental Caps
There are three different types of caps, and each offers its own set of benefits and drawbacks. Cosmetic dentists typically offer gold caps, ceramic caps or ceramic-veneered gold caps. Ceramic caps are usually designed to fit the front teeth because they have a very natural appearance. Gold caps are often used for the molars or back teeth because they last longer than ceramic caps and are not visible when you smile.
Resin and porcelain caps are among the newest options available for tooth capping. These caps are made with pure ceramic and a reinforced composite resin that look very much like regular teeth. These may be inserted with a colored inlay for the best color match.
Key Benefits of Dental Caps
The primary benefit of tooth caps is that your teeth will appear healthy and become stronger even after the structural damage they have incurred. Gold caps are the easiest to apply and prepare, and can last for years without causing damage to the gum tissue. Porcelain caps are the most aesthetically pleasing and can be color matched to your teeth.
Drawbacks of Dental Caps
While dental caps offer several benefits, there are also some drawbacks to these cosmetic treatments. With porcelain caps, some of the tooth structure may need to be removed for the best fit. Porcelain caps may also cause gingival inflammation and other gum tissue problems.
Dental caps off a number of benefits for men and women that want to improve the look of their smile, but there are some drawbacks to keep in mind with different types of treatments.
Learn more about the latest cosmetic dentistry procedures in our information guide, or consult with a cosmetic dentist in your area to find out if you may be a good candidate for tooth caps and other smile makeover procedures.