Crown Types

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Dental Crown Types: aka Dental Caps, Porcelain Dental Crowns, Composite Dental Caps, Composite Porcelain Dental Caps


What is it?


Dental crown caps are caps that cover a single tooth at a time that help lend a bit of stability and support to an otherwise weakened tooth. There are lots of reasons teeth become weak. Tooth decay can for example, cause teeth to become weakened. Often dentists will have to remove decay to leave a tooth much smaller than it was prior to the decay. A crown is put in place to help stabilize and support the tooth.

Usually a crown can be put into place within two visits, one visit to prepare the tooth and the other to permanently place the cap or crown. There are many different types of caps a consumer can select from. There are also many reasons for selecting a dental cap. Dental caps are idea for individuals that:


  • May have lots of tooth decay but lack enough tooth structure to fill the tooth using a traditional amalgam or composite filling.
  • Have a tooth with a large break or crack in them requiring greater stability.
  • Have a large filling are require additional protection against more decay and fracture.
  • Have implants but prefer crowns or caps.
  • Someone that has a root canal in one of rear teeth and requires a root canal to strengthen one or more teeth.
  • Someone that has teeth that are ground too fine or has significant erosion in the teeth.


There are many types of caps and dental crowns. Here are some different options you can choose from when researching dental caps.


Porcelain and metal crowns - some dental caps are porcelain fused to metal crowns and caps. Porcelain is sometimes fused to metal caps or crowns to achieve a more natural-looking crown, although with time these metal caps form a silver line at the gum as it recedes from the tooth. Often these teeth also take on an unnatural appearance or color as well. They are much less expensive however, than full porcelain crowns.


Porcelain crowns - these crowns can be fully porcelain, which maintain a natural, lustrous-looking appearance or felspathic which are created in a lab that makes porcelain. The newer type of crown, created by the dentist during surgery is very attractive because they are created by the dentist during surgery, called Procera.


Alumina or Zironia Procera Crowns - one new brand name crown is the “Procera AllCeram” brand which is a natural type of crown created with an alumina or zironia core covered with ceramic. This crown may last up to 10 years and is created using the help of a computer.


CERAC - this is one of the leading computer-generated dental caps created with the assistance of a computer. The crown is created out of pure ceramic and built using equipment during surgery. A visitor can have a crown made during their visit to the dentist, which provides much convenience for the patient.



The Operation


The procedure starts by stripping off the enamel of the tooth where the crown is going to be placed. This process cannot be reversed; once the tooth is destroyed permanently there is no going back. Next, depending on the type of crown to be used, the dentist may do one of several things. If a gold crown or cap is to be used, a dentist will take a mold and send it to the laboratory for manufacturing. This may take up to two weeks. In these cases once the mold returns, then it will be fitted.


In other cases the dentist will make a mold during surgery and fit it during surgery. This is often the case when a dentist decides to use a porcelain cap. In this case just one porcelain mold may be necessary.


Alternatives to Surgery


As this is a method to repair broken or damaged teeth, the alternative to a dental crown is to fully extract the tooth.


Before the Operation


Little if any preparation is needed prior to surgery. Your dentist will let you know if you need to stop taking any medications prior to the procedure, but do not do so without your doctor’s advice.


After the Operation- In the Hospital


You will experience some pain or discomfort after the procedure that should be controlled using mild pain relievers. Your dentist will let you know how to best care for your new cap or crown. You may want to stick to softer foods following your procedure until you feel better.


After the Operation- At Home


You will feel better hours after your procedure. You will still feel some tenderness for the first 24 hours or so following your procedure. The anesthesia usually wears off in roughly 2 hours. Some will notice improvement in as little as 30 minutes. Many people will notice their new crown or cap is sensitive to hot and cold sensations during the first few days. This is normal and will diminish in the first few hours and days after treatment. If you continue to feel pain one week following your dental crown placement you should talk to your dentist immediately.


Possible Complications


Some people find their new dental caps feel sensitive following treatment. There are many desensitizing agents available to help with this you can buy over-the-counter or that your dentist can apply. Some prescription medications are also available that can help.


General Advice


It is important to keep new caps and crowns clean and healthy to avoid further trauma or decay to teeth. You can clean and floss caps and crowns as you would other teeth. If you have a temporary crown you must take care not to pop it out while cleaning it, so be sure to pass floss through the temporary cap carefully.


Estimated Costs For Dental Crowns


Country Cost
USA $500-1500
Brazil $300-400
Costa Rica $330
South Africa $1200
Thailand $240-480

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