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TOOTH CAPPING/ ARTIFICIAL  DENTAL CROWNS
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What is Tooth Capping/ Arificial Dental Crown? 

A tooth cap/ crown is an artificial cover placed on a tooth. This cover can be made of ceramic materials like Zirconia, metal alloys or both.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Caps/ artificial crowns are most commonly done for 2 reasons: 
1. After Root Canal Treatment to protect the tooth from fracture
2. To replace a missing tooth as a part of crown and bridge
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Tooth capping (artificial dental crowns) may also be done as part of a cosmetic smile enhancement procedure, when teeth are badly worn out and need to be covered or to restore broken teeth to normal. 
types of dental caps
ceramic crown and bridge

Crown and Bridge made from Cosmetic Ceramic from Ivoclar Vivadent

How is it done?

The end result of tooth capping is a tooth that looks and functions like your natural tooth. The artificial dental crown has the size and shape of your own tooth that was there before it was damaged, and can be used for eating food like you do with your natural teeth. To do this, the tooth is made smaller from all sides to provide space for the tooth cap (artificial dental crown). This requires precision and expertise. 
 In the second step, a measurement (impression) is made of the prepared tooth using special impression materials. This measurement will precisely record the size, shape and margins of the tooth to be capped. 
 Your dentist will now put a temporary cap/ crown on the tooth and send you back. The measurements will be sent to a dental laboratory where the tooth cap (artificial dental crown) will be fabricated precisely to fit the prepared and opposing teeth accurately. 
 Once your tooth cap (artificial dental crown) is ready, the temporary crown is removed and the metal/ ceramic/ metal-ceramic crown is permanently fixed onto your tooth using special dental cements, lik 3M cement. 
tooth prepared to receive crown
crown ready to be fixed on to tooth
crown cementation

Tooth prepared to receive crown

Crown ready to be fixed on to tooth

Crown being cemented on to tooth

What else should I know about Tooth Capping (Artificial Dental Crowns)? 

There are many different types of caps/ crowns that can be made for your tooth, and you must choose wisely amongst them. You must ask your dentist the following questions to make the best choice:
1. How strong should the tooth cap (artificial dental crown) be for my tooth, and which of the caps fit in that category? 
2. Which would be the best/ acceptable cap for my tooth cosmetically? 
3. What will be the charges for the different types of tooth caps (artificial dental crowns)?
4. How long are the caps/ crowns expected to last and are there any warranties with them?
5. How will the tooth cap (artificial dental crown) be made - using computer technology/ manually?
6. What brand/ company material will be used to fabricate my tooth cap (artificial dental crown)? 
7. Which, in the dentist's clinical experience, is the best option in your case? 
 You can read more about the different types of dental cappings here . In general, most tooth caps (dental crowns) are sufficiently strong for average biting, zirconia and laser sintered metal crowns being the strongest. There are some concerns however with the hard zirconia crowns grinding away the opposing teeth over a period of time. 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Ceramic crowns are the most cosmetic followed by metal - ceramic crowns, but they are also heavier on your pocket. Crowns made with CAD-CAM technology (Computer Aided Designing - Computer Aided Milling/ Machining) are superior to manually made crowns in the precision of fit as well as strength and longevity. 
 Good, internationally renowned brands/ companies like 3M, Ivoclar Vivadent, Dentsply and Nobel Procera warrant their products for a period of 5 - 15 years, but it is a limited warranty and you must discuss with your dentist what all is covered and not covered in the warranty. 
  Ultimately, it is your preferences in terms of cost and cosmetics, along with the clinical judgement of the dentist that determine the best option for your tooth capping (artificial dental crown). 
 
lava crown and bridge

3M Lava Crowns

A quick "brush-up"
Procedure
Tooth capping, Artificial dental crowns
Done for 
Root canal treated teeth, Cosmetic smile enhancement, Worn off teeth, Broken teeth
Number of sittings
1- 3 sittings of 30-60 minutes
Pain/ Discomfort
Sensitivity during tooth preparation if root canal treatment not done for the tooth - temporary crown placed to prevent it
Tooth may require root canal treatment (RCT), ceramic chipping and crown dislodgement after years of use
Complications
Requires anesthesia (numbing)
Yes, if RCT not done
Specialist
Prosthodontist, Endodontist
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