Caps and Crowns

Is There a Difference Between Caps and Crowns?

A cap and a crown are the same thing. Crowns are used to cover, or cap, a tooth to restore it to its normal function. Crowns can be made of metal, porcelain (ceramic) or of porcelain that has been fused to metal. Crowns are used for capping teeth for a variety of reasons.

  • A tooth that has a root canal
  • A fractured tooth
  • Teeth that have been worn down by grinding
  • Teeth that are discolored
  • Teeth that are misshapen

What type of procedures are used for getting a crown?

The dentist will typically numb the affected tooth using a local anesthetic. For teeth that have been fractured, or undergone a root canal they will have to be built up first. The dentist uses a filling to restore some of the tooth so it can attach to a crown properly. Then he will shape the tooth and make an impression using a resin mold. They will place a temporary crown to protect the tooth while the permanent crown is being prepared.

Once the crown is ready, the dentist will remove the temporary crown and place the permanent crown, or cap on the tooth.

How long will a crown last?

A dental crown usually lasts between 10 to 20 years. They do need to be cared for just like your regular teeth to protect them. Proper flossing and brushing in and around a crown can help keep them from needing to be replaced too frequently.