Crowns are a restorative procedure used to improve your tooth’s shape or strengthen it. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or have weakened portions due to tooth decay. Depending on the amount of restoration needed, a dental crown or “cap” may be required to reduce the risk of fracturing the tooth.
A crown acts as a “cap” or “jacket” that usually covers the portion of a tooth above the gum line. The crown effectively becomes the tooth’s new outer surface—like the enamel that forms the surface of your teeth. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both and are cemented onto the existing tooth. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength to hold a filling. Unlike fillings, which apply restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth.