Tooth caps are very useful for restoring broken teeth. The great thing about tooth caps is that they make it possible for your dentist to fix even teeth that won’t be able to hold a dental filling. Caps are usually used to fix cracked teeth that can’t hold fillings, or the fix teeth that have cavities that are so large that there isn’t enough tooth tissue left to hold the filling in place. But what can you expect when getting your tooth capped?
What Do Tooth Caps Look Like?
The shape of a tooth cap looks just like a normal tooth. What distinguishes tooth caps from normal teeth, however, is that the inside of the cap has a hollow space that fits perfectly over the tooth being capped. Just like two building blocks would fit together.
Depending on the material a tooth cap is made of, its color might differ from your natural teeth. Tooth caps can be made from gold, dental alloys or porcelain. Alloy and porcelain caps look the most like your real teeth, and can be made to exactly match the color of your other teeth.
Tooth caps can also be made from a combination of dental alloys and porcelain. In this case, the cap looks almost as if it’s made from dental alloys coated in porcelain.
Tooth Caps Procedure
Your tooth cap will have to be custom made to fit your tooth. Unlike with dental bonding, your tooth cap can’t just be shaped onto your existing tooth to fill in broken areas. So when getting a tooth cap, expect to visit your dentist at least twice during the procedure.
During the first visit to your dentist, they will examine your tooth to determine whether or not you need a cap. If you need a cap, your dentist will do some work preparing the tooth for the cap. Some bit of your natural tooth may be removed in order to create enough space in your mouth for the cap.
After this, an impression of your tooth will have to be made. Using dental putty, your dentist will make you bite down to capture the shape of your tooth in an impression. This impression of your damaged tooth is then sent to a technician in a dental laboratory in order for your tooth cap to be made.
The skill of the dental technician will be just as important as that of your dentist in assuring your dental cap is a perfect fit. At Dr. Stone’s practice, an on-site laboratory with a highly skilled team of technicians enables us to fit your tooth cap with exact precision.
Your dentist will usually fit you with a temporary tooth cap while you’re waiting for the permanent cap to be made. How long you’ll have to wait for your permanent tooth will depend on the specific laboratory your dentist uses.
Once your tooth cap is ready, you can go for your second appointment to have it fitted. During the second visit, your dentist will remove the temporary cap and carefully place the permanent one using dental cement to hold it firmly in place.
Your new tooth cap will be last you anywhere from 5 to 20 years, depending on the quality of the cap and the materials it was made from. Typically, however, most tooth caps should last you at least 10 years.
What If Your Tooth Cap Comes Loose?
If you struggle with a tooth cap that’s constantly coming loose on your tooth, or if it falls off, there’s a chance that your remaining tooth tissue is no longer sufficient to support the cap. In some cases would be to have the tooth extracted and to replace it using a dental implant or bridge.
But it’s always worthwhile to get a second opinion. If you struggle with a cap that keeps coming off, then it might also be that the dental laboratory, or your dentist is the problem. This isn’t always the case, but it’s worth exploring.
To see us or to get a second opinion, feel free to book an appointment with Dr. Stone for help with your problematic tooth cap. Dr. Stone is a dental specialist who specializes in (among other things) placing tooth caps. Meaning he’ll be able to help you get the best solution for fixing your capped tooth.