Teeth that have been damaged by decay, cracks, or other problems, need a repair that will last. Fillings may not be strong enough, but crowns and caps may be just what is needed to renew a tooth.

About Crowns and Caps

Although the two words imply that these are two different things, caps and crowns are really the same thing. There is no difference. A dental crown is a “cap” for a tooth and it replaces the original one that has been damaged or needs to be altered. A crown may be placed on teeth that are cracked, shorter because of being worn down, discolored, or misshapen.

Crowns are also placed on top of dental implants and in bridges. Since they are often made in a lab, a temporary crown will be put in place during the waiting period.

Types of Crowns

When you want choices, there are several types of crowns. Each one has its own benefits, and some will vary in color. They include:

  • Gold – many crowns are made with gold. They can vary in color, depending on how much gold is in them. They are very strong and highly durable.
  • Silver Metal – several types of metals are used in silver-colored crowns. They include platinum, cobalt chromium, and nickel chromium. They also are highly durable.
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal – these crowns have a metal base and a porcelain top. The metal base is strong but the porcelain may chip. The metal base may also become exposed if the gums recede.
  • All-porcelain (ceramic) – crowns made of porcelain are the most natural-looking. This makes them the ideal choice for front teeth. The natural look will vary based on how it is made. While some are all the same color, others have some translucency to them – which makes them look more natural.
  • Dental Ceramics – the most common material used for this type of crown is zirconium. It is white and has a uniform color. It is made out of a solid piece of ceramic. It is stronger than other ceramics and it is highly durable.
  • All-resin (composite) – these crowns are less expensive than other types. They will wear faster than other types and may need to be replaced in about five years.

Milling Machines

Some dental offices now have machines that will make ceramic crowns while you wait. These crowns are made from a solid block of ceramic and are guided by CAD/CAM after taking a digital picture of your teeth. This enables dentists to be able to prepare a crown for it and then to cement it in place in the same visit.

Care of Crowns

Dental crowns need to be cared for just like your natural teeth. You will also want to avoid eating hard foods such as hard candies and ice, which may crack the crown or chip it. Regular cleaning is needed with a toothbrush and floss to avoid gum disease and cavities.

If you have tooth decay and other dental problems, you may need crowns and caps to repair them. Dr. Rafael Lakhchakov can provide you with the treatments you need in his Richmond Hill office in Queens, NY. He can also help you with other cosmetic dentistry services to restore your great smile. In order to get more information or to set up an appointment, just call his office at (718) 262-0720.