What is a dental crown?

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth -- to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance.

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?
  • To protect a decayed, weak or cracked tooth
  • To restore an already broken or severely worn down tooth
  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't a lot of tooth left
  • To hold a dental bridge in place
  • To cover severely discolored teeth
  • To cover a dental implant
  • To make a cosmetic modification
A crown is a restoration of a tooth that surrounds the outer surfaces of the tooth, rather than filling a preparation within the tooth. The crown can be made with a variety of materials such as all metal, all porcelain, metal with porcelain on top and metal with composite on top.

The crown serves a functional purpose in that it often provides a more secure restoration than a filling and helps to prevent fracture of a tooth weakened by decay, wear or fracture. Of course, while improving the strength of a tooth, a crown may also greatly improve the appearance. Multiple crowns may often be used to restore not only the individual teeth, but to rehabilitate the patient's occlusion while improving appearance at the same time.

A dental crown is a covering placed over a tooth. Most crowns are placed to repair a broken tooth. However, crowns can also be placed to improve the appearance of a tooth that is poorly shaped or colored. Please refer to the following link which describes in more detail the dental crown process

A crown is a cap on a tooth. It looks like a cylinder that fits over the tooth after it has been prepared by a dentist. It is used to fix a tooth that has been severely broken or decayed to restore it to the proper shape, size, and color. It can also be used cosmetically to change the shape, size, and color of a tooth.

Everyone wants a beautiful smile. Listen as Dr. Maria Lopez Howell explains how crowns can help improve the appearance of your teeth and provide additional support to weak or broken teeth.

A dental crown is a covering that fits over your existing tooth to make it look and feel like a normal tooth. Crowns are often placed when a tooth is cracked or has lost its structure so that it can't hold a filling. Your dentist will grind the tooth down to make room for the crown, take an impression of the tooth, fit you with a temporary crown, and later attach a permanent crown that looks like a normal tooth. A dental crown is sometimes called a cap. 
Jonathan B. Levine, DMD
Dental crowns are full coverage reinforcement restorations that bring teeth back to their proper look and function. They're longer lasting, but require more aggressive prep work than a veneer (teeth must be reduced by 1.5 mm reduction as opposed to the .5 reduction required for veneers). Although it's always preferable to preserve the structure of a natural tooth, it isn't always feasible. For example, if an old filling has broken down, once the decay is removed, the tooth's biting surface is undermined, so it needs to be supported by either an onlay, which goes over just the tooth's cusps, or a full-coverage crown.
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A crown is a full coverage restoration that is placed on a tooth to restore cosmetics and function. It is needed when severe breakdown due to fracture or decay in excess of two-thirds of the tooth is present. Crowns are also used to restore teeth that have previously had root canal or endodontic treatment.

Continue Learning about Dental Crown

What are the advantages of dental crowns?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
Your dentist may recommend a crown for a number of reasons, including strengthening teeth or enhanci...
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How many visits does it take to place a dental crown?
American Dental AssociationAmerican Dental Association
Getting a dental crown requires at least two visits. On the first visit your dentist will discuss th...
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Why is silver a good option for crowns on primary molars?
Crowns that appear to be made of silver are probably made of a material called amalgam. Amalgam ...
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What kind of crown is best for the back teeth?
Jennifer G. Robb, DMDJennifer G. Robb, DMD
If looks aren't a factor, then an all metal crown is probably the best choice. The metal crown is ca...
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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.