The Difference Between Tooth Caps vs. Crowns

The Difference Between Tooth Caps vs. Crowns

The dental world is filled with many terms and phrases that aren’t commonly used in day-to-day conversations. For example, you may have heard dental caps and dental crowns used in ways that make them seem like the same thing. Well, that’s because they are!

The term “dental cap” was used in previous years and became a popular term to refer to what we now know as dental crowns. Although “dental crown” is the more common term that people use, you may still hear dental cap in conversation or at your dentist’s office. Either way, rest assured that they both mean the same thing.

What are dental crowns and caps?

Dental crowns are coverings that are shaped like caps. Crowns are placed on top of your tooth to restore missing or decayed portions. By using a crown to cover sensitive areas of your tooth, you can protect its structure and further protect it from harm. Reasons that people get dental crowns installed are because their tooth is chipped or misshapen, discolored, decaying, or to strengthen a weak tooth. Crowns can both protect your teeth and enhance the appearance of your smile.

Because dental crowns can have a variety of uses, ranging from general dentistry to cosmetic dentistry, there are many different types of crowns and caps out there.

The different types of dental crowns

Ceramic crowns

Ceramic crowns are often used in dental procedures for cosmetic reasons. Most times, dentists will put ceramic crowns over any front teeth that need to be replaced. The ceramic material mirrors the appearance of natural teeth and that’s why many dentists favor them for cosmetic procedures. Ceramic crowns are also long-lasting and biocompatible. 

Gold crowns

Gold has been used in dentistry for many years. Gold is a very strong metal material and is great to use for dental procedures because of its durability. Once installed, gold crowns can last for many years to come. 

However, with the rise of biocompatible porcelain dental caps, gold crowns are less common nowadays. Be sure to make your dentist aware of any metal allergies you have before you go in for a dental procedure where metals may be used inside your mouth.

Porcelain fused to metal (PFM) crowns

As you might have guessed, PFM crowns use two materials: metal and porcelain. This dental cap has a metal frame encased with a porcelain material, which gives it the look and feel of a real tooth. These crowns are the best of both worlds. You get the durability of the metal, with the appearance of porcelain, and because they aren’t entirely made of porcelain, they’re usually less expensive. A downside to these types of crowns is that the metal portion typically ends up becoming more visually noticeable through time.

Metal crowns

Gold crowns are technically classified as a type of metal crown. Other materials that metal crowns can be made up of are nickel, chromium, and zirconium, among others. Most times people will choose metal crowns for any tooth repair in their molar areas. Metal dental crowns don’t have the most pleasant appearance, so from a cosmetic standpoint, you might want to use these for your back teeth. Out of sight, out of mind.

Kneib Dentistry’s porcelain and ceramic crowns

At Kneib, we only use porcelain or ceramic crowns because not only do they look better than other options, but they’re stronger, too. Porcelain and ceramic crowns have a lot of advantages that other crowns don’t, such as:

  • Can be used for both front and back teeth
  • Mimics the appearance of real teeth
  • No dark portions, as with metal crowns
  • Reflects light like real teeth
  • Strong and visually pleasing
  • Designed for long term wear

At Kneib, we have a high standard of quality when it comes to our dental crowns. We use our CAD/CAM technology to create perfectly fitting porcelain and ceramic crowns that can be installed in only one visit. 

How much does a dental crown cost?

The cost of dental crowns varies depending on the material of the crown and the degree of dental work you need to have done before the crown is installed. PFM crowns and metal crowns are cheaper options, however, they may not last as long as porcelain and ceramic crowns. 

The starting price for your crown will land at around $800. However, we always recommend calling your insurance and dental provider to go over your coverage and payment options. If you’re looking at getting a dental crown, don’t hesitate to contact us at Kneib to review your options! 

Kneib Dentistry can get you to a better smile

Kneib Dentistry has been performing tooth restoration services for over 30 years. We only offer the most quality materials and we have the latest technology that helps us get you to a better smile, faster. 

Whether you’re looking for dental tooth caps, dental crowns, or any other dental service, Kneib Dentistry’s team of experienced professionals can help you get a stronger, healthier smile.

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