What Are Capped Teeth And How To Care For Them?

“Capped teeth,” a term you might often hear in dental clinics, are known in the professional world as dental crowns. They serve as a cover or “cap” put over a tooth, bringing it back to its original shape, size, and strength and improving its appearance.

If you’ve ever battled with a damaged or decayed tooth, a dental crown might be the superhero you need. It not only gives your teeth a facelift but also restores your tooth’s function and overall oral health.

Capped teeth come in a multitude of types, materials and vary in cost. These options ensure everyone finds a fit that suits their unique dental needs. Let’s dive in and explore the fantastic world of dental crowns, shall we?

Unraveling the Types of Capped Teeth

Capped teeth are like the multifaceted personalities we all have – each different, each fitting a unique situation. Here’s a handy guide to understanding the various types of dental crowns:

Full Crowns: As the name implies, these cover the entire visible part of the tooth. They are your best bet when the whole tooth needs some TLC.

  • Advantages: Great for restoring severely damaged teeth.
  • Disadvantages: It may require more tooth structure removal.
  • Best for: Severely decayed or broken teeth.

Partial Crowns: Partial crowns cover only a portion of the tooth. They’re the undercover agents of the dental crown world.

  • Advantages: Preserves more of the natural tooth structure.
  • Disadvantages: Not suitable for extensively damaged teeth.
  • Best for: Teeth with moderate damage.

Onlays: They cover the biting surface and one or more cusps of the tooth. Think of them as a protective hat for your tooth.

  • Advantages: Provide substantial support to the tooth structure.
  • Disadvantages: Requires a skilled dentist for correct placement.
  • Best for: Large fillings and fractured teeth.

Inlays: Fitting within the cusps of the tooth, inlays are like snug gloves providing strength and stability.

  • Advantages: More conservative than a full or partial crown.
  • Disadvantages: Might not provide sufficient support to extensively damaged teeth.
  • Best for: Small to medium cavities.

Post and Core Crowns: These crowns include a metal post extending into the root canal to support the crown. They’re the bionic component in the crown universe.

  • Advantages: Provides robust support and stability to the tooth.
  • Disadvantages: Risk of root fracture over time.
  • Best for: Teeth that have undergone root canal treatment.

As you see, each type of capped tooth offers unique advantages and is suitable for specific situations. Remember, your dentist is the best person to guide you on the most suitable crown type for your dental needs.

Now that we have covered the types of dental crowns, in our next section, we’ll be exploring the materials they’re made of. Stick around!

Choosing the Right Material for Capped Teeth

Just like choosing the fabric for a tailored suit, the material for your dental crown needs to be picked with care. Here are the most commonly used materials for capped teeth:

Metal Crowns: These include gold, silver, or other alloys. They are durable, resistant to wear and corrosion, and have the strength of superheroes!

  • Pros: Long-lasting and require less tooth removal.
  • Cons: Their metallic color is more noticeable.
  • Cost Impact: High-end price due to the metal composition.

Porcelain Crowns: Mimicking the natural color and translucency of tooth enamel, these crowns are like a chameleon in your mouth.

  • Pros: Best aesthetic match to natural teeth.
  • Cons: Not as strong as metal crowns.
  • Cost Impact: Medium to high range due to their aesthetic benefits.

Porcelain-Fused-To-Metal Crowns: This combination of metal and porcelain gives you the best of both worlds: strength and beauty.

  • Pros: Good combination of durability and aesthetics.
  • Cons: Over time, the metal underneath may show through as a dark line.
  • Cost Impact: Moderate to high, considering the dual benefits.

Resin Crowns: This plastic material is an affordable option that can also match the tooth color.

  • Pros: Economical and can mimic tooth color.
  • Cons: Not as durable; more prone to fractures.
  • Cost Impact: The lower end of the scale, offering affordability.

Zirconia Crowns: Zirconia, a ceramic material, offers the strength of metal and can be customized to match your tooth shade.

  • Pros: Extremely strong, customizable color.
  • Cons: Hardness can cause wear on opposing teeth.
  • Cost Impact: High-end due to the material’s durability and aesthetic benefits.

Choosing the right material for your capped tooth affects its cost, longevity, and appearance. Your dentist will help you make the best choice according to your needs and budget.

The Journey to Getting Capped Teeth

Getting a dental crown is a process that requires careful steps. Here’s what to expect:

  1. Consultation: Your dentist will examine your tooth and surrounding tissues, discuss treatment options and expectations, and take impressions or scans of your mouth. This initial visit can last around 1-2 hours.
  2. Preparation: Next comes the removal of decayed or damaged tissue and reshaping of the tooth to make room for the crown. We will typically place a temporary crown to protect the tooth from damage and provide an aesthetic relief. This step can take about 1-3 hours.
  3. Fabrication: The permanent crown is then created by a dental lab or a chairside milling machine based on the impressions or scans. Depending on where it’s made, it can take anywhere from a few hours to a couple of weeks.
  4. Placement: The temporary crown, if present, is removed. The permanent crown is fitted, adjusted, and cemented or bonded to the tooth. This final step typically takes about 1-2 hours.

Each step of the procedure has its unique preparation needs. For instance, ensure you have all your dental history and insurance information before the consultation. Before the preparation, maintain excellent oral hygiene. Depending on the extent of the tooth preparation, your dentist may use local anesthesia to numb the area during the crown placement. Inform your dentist if you have any allergies or adverse reactions to anesthesia.

And, of course, throughout all these steps, be prepared to flash that beautiful smile of yours!

Caring for Your Capped Teeth: Tips and Tricks

A capped tooth, just like a natural tooth, requires care and maintenance. Here are some ways to keep your dental crowns in tiptop condition:

  • Unless otherwise specified, brush your teeth at least twice a day using a soft-bristled toothbrush and fluoride toothpaste.
  • Floss daily around the crown and adjacent teeth.
  • Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash, as recommended by your dentist.
  • Avoid hard, sticky, or chewy foods that can damage or dislodge the crown.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for check-ups and cleanings.

In addition, it’s crucial to be aware of potential issues and how to prevent them:

  • Sensitivity: If you experience sensitivity around the capped tooth, use desensitizing products or avoid hot or cold stimuli until it subsides.
  • Discomfort: For any discomfort or pain, over-the-counter painkillers may provide relief. You can also apply ice packs to the affected area.
  • Infection: If you notice signs indicating an infection such as pain, swelling, pus, or fever, seek immediate dental attention.
  • Loosening or falling off: If your crown becomes loose or falls off, contact your dentist as soon as possible. Do not attempt to reattach it yourself.

Exploring Alternatives to Capped Teeth

Capped teeth, while a popular choice, are not the only options to restore damaged or decayed teeth. Other alternatives include:

  • Fillings: These are used to treat minor to moderate tooth decay. They are less invasive and cheaper than crowns but may not be suitable for severe decay or damage.
  • Veneers: These thin porcelain shells are bonded to the front of the teeth to improve their appearance. They are less durable but more aesthetically pleasing than crowns.
  • Implants: These are artificial tooth roots implanted into the jawbone to replace missing teeth. They are more invasive and expensive than crowns but provide a permanent and natural-looking solution.
  • Bridges: These are false teeth that are anchored to the adjacent natural teeth or implants to fill in gaps. They are a viable option if the adjacent teeth also need restoration.

In conclusion, while capped teeth offer a durable and versatile solution for damaged or decayed teeth, the best option depends on the extent and location of the damage, the condition of the surrounding teeth, your oral and overall health, your aesthetic expectations, and your budget.

Always consult your dentist to make an informed decision.

Navigating the Risks and Complications of Capped Teeth

As with any dental procedure, capped teeth may come with certain risks and complications, such as:

  • Allergic Reactions: Some people might be allergic to the materials used in crowns.
  • Nerve Damage: Rarely, the preparation for a crown might expose the tooth’s nerve, requiring a root canal.
  • Crown Failure: The crown could become loose, chip, or break off.
  • Tooth Decay: Without proper care, decay could develop under the crown.

Prevention is better than cure, so here are some tips:

  • Inform your dentist of any known allergies.
  • Promptly address any lingering discomfort after crown placement.
  • Practice good oral hygiene and avoid chewing hard or sticky foods to prevent crown failure.
  • Regular dental check-ups will help catch early signs of decay.

Frequently Asked Questions about Capped Teeth

Here are answers to some common questions about capped teeth:

How long do they last?
Dental crowns typically last from 5 to 15 years, depending on the material and your oral care.

How do they affect eating and speaking?
Initially, you may notice a difference, but with time, you should adjust and function normally.

How do they look and feel?
Dental crowns are created to resemble and have the same sensation as real teeth. They usually become comfortable after the initial adjustment phase.

Can crowns be repaired or replaced if damaged?
If a crown gets damaged, your dentist can repair or replace it depending on the extent of the damage.


While this article provides a broad overview of capped teeth, remember that your dentist is the best resource for personalized advice. If you’re interested or have any further questions, don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation or call directly at 586 775 4260. Dental crowns are a fantastic solution to restore both the function and appearance of your smile!