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Dental caps have several purposes: they can restore a tooth to its proper size or shape, strengthen a tooth, or improve appearances. Your dentist may recommend this option if you have a broken, cracked, or weak tooth, you need to mask a dental implant or large filling, or for another cosmetic reason.

What Is a Cap?

A cap is a long-term solution that covers a tooth or dental implant, becoming the new outer edge of your tooth. Caps usually last between five and 15 years, depending on your oral care and the material used for the cap. Refraining from grinding your teeth, crunching ice, and using your teeth to rip open packages will extend the lifespan of the cap.

What Are Caps Made From?

The most long-lasting of all the materials, metal allows you to retain most of your tooth. Due to the color, metal caps tend to be for molars.

Porcelain and ceramic
Your dentist can make you a porcelain or ceramic cap to match the color of your teeth. Offering the most natural appearance, this is also the best option for people with metal allergies.

Porcelain with metal
Metal fusing makes porcelain stronger but may be visible as a dark line.

A cost-effective solution, the downside of resin is that it tends to wear down faster and is more likely to fracture.

Stainless steel
Stainless steel is usually used only for children with decayed primary teeth. The least expensive option, the cap falls out with the tooth when the permanent tooth starts to erupt.