A dental crown or “cap” is shaped like a natural tooth and is placed over a single tooth. The crown has several purposes in restoring a tooth to its natural shape, size, strength, and appearance. Crowns are made with several different materials: all-gold, porcelain-fused-to-metal, or all-ceramic. All-gold crowns are very strong, but have a yellow appearance which may be unappealing for some patients. All-ceramic crowns are very beautiful and esthetic, but are slightly more prone to fracturing over time. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are made with a metal base and white porcelain placed on the outside, giving the entire crown a white appearance while also being very strong.
A dental crown is utilized in many different situations including:
- To protect a weak tooth from breaking
- To repair an already broken tooth
- To cover a tooth that has a large filling and prevent future fractures
- To hold a “bridge” in place
- To cover a dental implant
- To improve the shape and/or appearance of a tooth