Caps, Crowns and Veneers . . . Oh My!


There is more than one way to repair teeth and enhance your smile. The challenge is to know what procedure is going to be most effective for your situation. There is also the question of terminology. Understanding your choices is one of the first steps down the road toward achieving your best smile.

Caps and Crowns

You may hear people talking about getting a tooth capped, or people familiar with dentistry may talk about getting a tooth crowned. It is the same procedure, just called by different names. Years ago, people referred to dental crowns as caps. Some people may still use the term “cap” when referring to dental crowns.

The crown is a dental prosthesis that fits over or “caps” the tooth above the gum line. There are a few different reasons your dentist may suggest a crown for your tooth. Usually, these prosthetics cover a broken tooth or add stability and strength to a tooth with a large cavity or one that has undergone root canal therapy. Caps also help to repair teeth that are chipped or damaged. Occasionally, a crown will serve in a purely cosmetic fashion to hide some blemish of the tooth underneath.

The tooth in question must first be prepped by shaving it down enough so the crown can fit securely and comfortably. The crown must also be the right size on all sides, including the chewing side or biting edge. If the crown is too high, it will bang on the opposing tooth and break or damage that tooth. Too low, and it loses proper chewing alignment.

Crowns are metal, porcelain, or ceramic. Ceramic or porcelain crowns look more natural, as they are matched to the adjacent teeth’ color. Ceramic fused to metal is also popular. These crowns may not look quite as natural as the completely ceramic crowns, but they are also not as brittle and may last longer.

Dental Veneers

Getting several teeth capped to hide some blemishes on your anterior teeth can be quite expensive. Dental veneers accomplish this without the time or cost associated with crowns. Veneers are thin layers of porcelain that are attached to the face of the teeth.

Many public figures use dental veneers to enhance their smile. Veneers are cosmetic and do not protect teeth in the way of dental crowns. They can be used to cover misshapen teeth, make slightly misaligned teeth appear straight, hide the small gaps between teeth, and more.

Some individuals use veneers to have a bright, white smile. Mottled teeth will not respond to whitening products, and some stains can be so deep that they will not come out. For these situations, dental veneers can correct the problem and give you a bright, white smile.

If you are interested in enhancing your smile, contact the dental office of Dr. Nishan Halim. With an examination and consultation, Dr. Halim will provide you with the information you need to make an informed decision on the most effective way to achieve your best smile. 

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