Crowns are a type of dental restoration used to improve your tooth’s shape or to strengthen a tooth. Crowns are most often used for teeth that are broken, worn, or have portions destroyed by tooth decay.
Crowns are “caps” cemented onto an existing tooth that fully cover the portion of your tooth above the gum line. In effect, the crown becomes your tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made of porcelain, metal, or both. Porcelain crowns are most often preferred because they mimic the translucency of natural teeth and are very strong.
Your prosthodontist may suggest a crown to:
- Protect a weak tooth from fracturing
- Restore a tooth that is already broken or severely worn
- Stabilize a dental bridge
- Use in coordination with a dental implant
- Enhance the aesthetics of your smile
Crowns or onlays (partial crowns) are needed when there is insufficient tooth strength remaining to hold a filling. Unlike fillings, which apply the restorative material directly into your mouth, a crown is fabricated away from your mouth. Your crown is created in a lab from your unique tooth impression that allows a dental laboratory technician to examine all aspects of your bite and jaw movements. Your crown is then sculpted just for you so that your bite and jaw function normally once the crown is placed.