Dental Crown – Dental Cap

What is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown, also commonly known as a dental cap, is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a tooth that has been damaged. A crown on a tooth restores the tooth’s original shape and size after damage has been done.  When these caps for teeth are applied correctly, the result is natural-looking teeth in shape, color and strength.

Why Do I Need a Tooth Crown?

Reasons for Capping a Tooth

There might be many reasons why your dentist has recommended that you need a cap for a tooth. Some of the more common reason for needing dental cap include:

  • You have a weak tooth due to fracture or decay and a crown will help make it stronger
  • A dental cap will improve the appearance of your teeth
  • You have a tooth that was previously restored but now has chipped
  • Your tooth is falling off and needs to be replaced with a crown, which is more permanent

How Long Can I Wait Before Crowning a Tooth?

Having the crown fit properly, sealed flawlessly, and making sure there is an accurate bite are all factors that will ensure that the crown lasts a long time.

As far as how long you can wait before getting caps for your teeth, you’ll want to discuss this with your dentist. As with almost every procedure that your dentist recommends, sooner is better.  Waiting simply means that teeth will get worse until the tooth is capped. Not only that, more time waiting will keep you in the dentist chair longer, creating additional cost.

How Long Will My Dental Crown Last?

Great oral hygiene is the main factor determining how long your dental crown will last. With great care some caps will last 25 to 30 years. However, the average life of a tooth crown is 15 years. Create good oral habits right away. For one, make sure that you continue brushing at least twice a day. Other good habits include flossing once a day, and going to your regular dental check-ups and cleanings.

Getting Teeth Capped – The Process

Getting a crown involves two visits to our dental offices here in Tacoma.

Why Choose South Sound Dental in Tacoma For your Dental Crown?

South Sound Dental in Tacoma is one of the highest rated dental offices for getting this procedure performed. We are experts at performing this procedure. Award winning and highly reviewed there is no better place in Tacoma.

First Visit

  • Tooth and surrounding gum are numbed
  • The tooth will be filed and shaped down to make room for the crown
  • A paste is used to get an impression of the tooth
  • A temporary cap will be put in place until your next visit

Second Visit – Two Weeks Later

  • After the custom crown is manufactured, your dentist will make sure the crown fits properly
  • Your dentist will check the color, and make sure that your bite is right
  • The new crown will be permanently cemented into place

For a more comprehensive outline, see article Steps Involved in Getting a Crown.

What Happens if You Lose a Crown?

Don’t panic, and schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible.

A crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is placed over a damaged tooth.  Crowns restore a tooth’s original shape and size after damage has been done.  When applied correctly, the result is a natural-looking tooth in shape, color, and strength.  With this said, there are times when a crown may come off for one reason or another.  This is often not an emergency, however, if it happens you’ll want to get an appointment with the dentist as soon as possible.

When a crown comes off, the tooth is often sensitive to temperature and pressure and thus the experience can be painful. 

Because of this, along with the fact that you won’t want to cause further damage, you should set an appointment right away for repair.

Before Your Visit

  • To relieve any pain you can purchase some clove oil from a drug store or grocery store to apply to the sensitive area.
  • If you still have the crown you can also attempt to temporarily put it back on.  You’ll want to clean the tooth, coat the inside of the crown with tooth cement, and place it back on the tooth.  Tooth cement can be found in the dental section at a pharmacy.  Some need to be mixed and some don’t.  If you can’t find tooth cement you can also use denture adhesive or petroleum jelly.  DO NOT USE HOUSEHOLD GLUE.
  • If you lost the crown you can put the dental cement directly onto the tooth to seal it before your visit.

At your dental visit, the dentist will often need to prepare the tooth again due to a change in the shape of the tooth.  This will ensure that the crown fits well and does not come off.


Patient having a dental crown procedure done