A crown is a tooth-shaped cover placed over a tooth that is badly damaged or decayed. A crown is made to look like your tooth. Many people call it a cap.
Crowns may be placed for several reasons. Usually the tooth has been broken or damaged a great deal by decay. As a result, a filling cant replace enough of the tooth or make the tooth strong enough. A crown may hold together parts of a cracked tooth. It also can be used to hold a bridge in place. Crowns can be used to improve appearance as well. They may be placed to cover misshapen or badly discolored teeth.
Crowns can be made ahead of time (prefabricated) or made to order in a laboratory. Prefabricated crowns are made of plastic or stainless steel. They can be used on a temporary basis until a permanent crown is made.
Since a dental crown that has been cemented into place essentially becomes the new outer surface for the tooth, it is easy to imagine how the placement of a crown can restore a tooth to its original shape. Its also easy to see how a dental crown can help to strengthen a tooth by way of being a hard outer shell that encases the tooth structure that lies within it. For both of these reasons, dental crowns are routinely made for teeth that have broken, worn excessively, or else have had large portions destroyed by tooth decay.
The dentist will prepare the tooth to the ideal shape for the crown. This will involve removing most of the outer surface, and leaving a strong inner core. The amount of the tooth removed will be the same as the thickness of the crown.
For more information, see our CEREC restorations above.