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Difference Between Caps, Crowns, Veneers, Inlays, and Fillings

A woman smiling after receiving dental work at Long Island Smile in Williston Park, NYWhen your teeth are damaged, treatment is needed right away. Damage can be caused by many different issues. Different causes result in different types of damage. The severity of the damage can also vary from person to person. To restore your damaged teeth and your oral health, a dental restoration is necessary. At Long Island Smile, we offer a variety of different dental restorations to treat your teeth and improve your oral health.

Caps


A cap is another word for crown. It is a dental restoration that treats teeth that have suffered severe damage such as a chip or crack, or teeth that have been affected by a substantial amount of decay that cannot be treated with a filling. It is a restoration that is made to fit over the entire surface of a damaged or decayed tooth, functioning to protect the tooth from further damage as well as prevent potential infections. In some cases, caps can also be used to treat aesthetic issues, such as teeth that are small or oddly shaped, to improve the appearance of your smile.

Caps can be made from several different materials, including metal and ceramic. They can also be made from composite resin, but this material is not the most popular because it can break or stain easily. Metal caps are the strongest available. However, they are silver or gold, which makes them highly visible. Ceramic caps tend to be the most popular. They are, strong, able to withstand most normal daily wear and tear, and they look just like your real teeth.

Placing a cap involves removing a portion of the enamel from the tooth so that it can fit in naturally with the rest of your teeth. The exact length of time your cap lasts depends upon many factors. These factors include the material used, where the cap is placed, and if you suffer from a dental issue such as bruxism.

Crowns


A crown is a dental restoration that is made to treat a significantly cracked, chipped, broken, or decayed tooth. It can be made from a variety of different materials, including metal, porcelain fused to metal, and ceramic. A crown, which is made from an impression of your mouth, is made to fit over the entire tooth, encasing the entire visible surface to protect it from further damage and infections. In addition to holding it together and preventing bacterial invasion, a crown also helps to restore the strength of the tooth so that it can continue to function normally. This helps you to avoid the need for a tooth extraction.

Crown materials each have their benefits and drawbacks. For instance, metal crowns are the strongest, but they are also the most noticeable because of their color. Ceramic crowns are not as strong as metal, but they are the most popular due to their incredible aesthetic benefits. To place a crown, we need to remove a portion of your tooth enamel, reducing the size of the affected tooth. This enables the crown to fit comfortably and naturally in with the rest of your teeth. Once the is complete, it is bonded into place on the tooth.

The type of material used will affect how long your crown lasts. Metal crowns have the longest lifespans, lasting 50 years or more. Ceramic crowns typically last 15 to 20 years, with some lasting 25 years or longer. When a crown wears down or breaks, it needs to be replaced.

Veneers


Small damage might not affect the health or functionality of your teeth, but it can certainly impact the quality of your smile. Issues such as minor chips and cracks, slight overlapping, gaps between your teeth, and teeth that are small or misshapen can all decrease the quality of your smile, affecting the impressions you make as well as your self-confidence.

Veneers are a cosmetic solution for minor dental issues. They are thin, shell-like restorations that are made to fit over the front portions of the affected teeth, effectively eliminating the appearance of flaws and instantly improving the quality of your smile. They can be made from either composite resin or from porcelain, with porcelain being the more popular option. It provides a more realistic look along with greater strength. Porcelain is also stain-resistant.

Placing veneers involves removing a very small amount of enamel from the front surfaces of the affected teeth. Veneers require less enamel removal, making them a less invasive solution than crowns. However, they are only meant to provide an aesthetic fix. Your veneers are then made from impressions of your mouth and bonded to the fronts of your teeth. Composite veneers typically last 5 to 7 years while porcelain veneers last 10 to 15 years or longer.

Inlays


Cavities are typically treated with fillings. However, cavities on the chewing surfaces of the molars can create unique problems. Placing an amalgam filling in this location could put pressure on the filling, driving it deeper into the tooth. This can cause the tooth to split then. A composite filling may not be strong enough to withstand the chewing forces the molars endure and therefore wear down quicker.

An inlay is a type of filling specifically designed to treat cavities in the crevices of your molars between the cusps. It is what is known as an indirect filling. This means that rather than being cured inside of the tooth, the restoration is designed in a lab and then bonded inside of the cavity. They can be made from many different materials, including metal and porcelain. Porcelain is typically a more popular choice for its aesthetic benefits.

In order to place an inlay, the decay must first be drilled out of the cavity. After the cavity has been cleaned, an impression is taken of the tooth. The impression is used to design and create your custom inlay. Once completed, the inlay is bonded into the cavity. In addition to restoring the health of the tooth, it also helps to strengthen it, rather than potentially compromising it.

Fillings


A filling is a traditional restoration for a tooth affected by a cavity. Cavities are one of the most common dental issues, caused by the acids produced by the plaque and bacteria that reside in your mouth. The acids erode the enamel, which causes it to weaken. This is known as decay. Eventually, decay can give way to small pits, or cavities. Where decay can be reversed, a cavity cannot.

There are two different types of fillings. Amalgam is an incredibly strong material and can stand up to a substantial amount of daily use. However, amalgam fillings are silver. They are also made of a mixture of metals that are suspended in mercury. These substances can cause concern for many patients. Composite fillings consist of a mixture of fine glass, plastic, and other materials. They are free from metals and mercury, and they are also tooth-colored.

Placing fillings, regardless of material, requires a single appointment and about half an hour. The cavity is cleaned of decay and dried. The filling material is then packed inside of the cavity. Finally, it is cured, providing your tooth with immediate protection.

The right restoration for your damaged teeth restores their health and functionality, and can even restore your smile. For more information, and to schedule your appointment, call Long Island Smile at (516) 243-7473 today.

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