A dental crown is a tooth-shaped “cap” that is placed over a damaged tooth to cover the tooth and restore its shape and size, strength, and appearance. Crowns, when cemented into place, fully enclose the entire visible portion of a tooth that lies above the gum line.
Crowns may be necessary in the following situations:
• To protect a weak or decayed tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth
• To restore a broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down
• To secure a dental bridge
• To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn’t a lot of viable tooth left
• To cover unattractive, misshapen or severely discolored teeth
• To enclose a dental implant
• To make a cosmetic modification
Crowns (caps) are ideal for restoring teeth with larger fractures where a filling falls short. A crown covers the entire tooth whereas a filling is placed in the affected tooth. Crowns can be made from a variety of materials ranging from white porcelain to gold. Bridges are used to replace missing teeth in “fixed” manner as opposed to denture which is removable.
Crowns are often necessary when decay has caused so much damage to the tooth that not enough natural structure remains for it to survive on its own. The crown replaces the decayed area and gives the remaining natural tooth protection.