Caps or Crowns

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Dental Caps: aka Tooth Caps, Dental Partial Crowns, Teeth Caps, Cosmetic Dentistry Caps For Chipped Teeth


What is it?


Tooth caps or dental caps and dental crowns are a wonderful replacement when are teeth become damaged with the wear and tear that typically comes with life. Dental caps or dental crowns are often a good choice when root canals, fillings or decay and other deeper problems result in problems with the tooth’s surface.


A cap does exactly as it describes - it replaces or covers the top of the tooth - it provides a hood or cap along the tooth’s surface. Some other reasons for requiring a dental cap may include:


  • Tooth grinding, which often occurs at night inadvertently or among people that have high stress or dental biting problems including misaligned teeth
  • Crooked teeth
  • As people age and the teeth naturally wear and tear
  • As a result of tooth decay
  • If teeth crack
  • As teeth are repaired, as the inner surface may be neglected


The Operation


Typically a restorative dentist takes a mold of the tooth requiring a dental cap and sends it to a tooth lab. Then you receive a temporary dental cap for your teeth. This protects your tooth until the permanent tooth cap is done which usually takes up to two weeks.


Once the permanent cap is made, your cosmetic or restorative dentist will cement it to the natural tooth, which usually is done in just one visit. Sometimes you receive a filling before a cap to ensure the original tooth does not decay underneath the cap.


Alternatives to Surgery


Placement of a dental cap does not require any surgery. Many people receive caps instead of surgery or following a surgery if surgeries like a root canal results in the cracking of a nearby tooth.


Before the Operation


Your dentist will meet with your to talk to you about the color of the permanent cap to make sure that your cap matches the color of your teeth as closely as possible. If you plan to whiten your teeth you should let your dentist know this ahead of time so you get the closest possible match.


Sometimes instead of a temporary cap before the permanent cap comes in a dentist will use an instrument known as a flipper which is a false tooth that you can wear with a wire or plastic instrument that fits on the room of the mouth.


After the Operation- In the Hospital


The dentist will send the patient home with detailed instructions of how to best take care of their new dental caps.


After the Operation- At Home


The most important thing to do following the procedure is to follow the dentist’s instructions and to notify them if there are any side effects or complications.


Possible Complications


There is a possibility for a negative reaction to any anesthesia or other pain medications given.


General Advice


Dental caps are a good solution for individuals that have surface problems on the tooth. It is extremely important to select a good dentist, one that can select a cap that best matches your current tooth color and one that is pleasing to the eye.


There are many types of dental caps and materials used to make them. These include porcelain and resin caps.


Felspathic caps - this is a method of making dental caps where a lab bakes porcelain in tin foil, heats it and creates tint colors and opaque in the porcelain used to make the dental cap or crown so it looks as natural as possible.


Pressed ceramic - using this method a single “ingot” is used to create the shape of the dental crown and stains are used on the surface of the porcelain rather than throughout the cap to provide it with its color.


Reinforced resin cap - this type of cap, or the all-porcelain cap that the dentist bonds to the tooth provides the most natural look and most people will find this cap the hardest to distinguish from a true tooth.



Gold caps - anyone can use gold to create a cap because it is easy to mold and provides a precise fit. It is an excellent material but is quite obvious and not a good choice for anyone that wants natural looking teeth. It is quite popular in some cultures however. It does not chip at all and is very sturdy.


Porcelain/Metal caps - these caps are affordable, much more so than all-porcelain caps, however with time they often form a metal or darker line along the edge of the cap near the gum line. This can be troubling to someone that wants a natural-looking gum line.


Estimated Costs For Dental Crowns


The costs of dental caps or crowns vary from country to country. Sometimes it pays to go to other countries to have dental work done especially if you holiday there or plan to holiday there some time soon. Dental caps or crowns can be part of a very comprehensive dental program, so if you are having multiple procedures done it may make much sense to plan a trip abroad to save some money. The costs below generally apply to one tooth at a time, and most people require more than one tooth to be repaired.


Country Cost per tooth
USA $500-3100
Brazil $470
Costa Rica $550
South Africa $900
Thailand $175

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