Crowns are a type of dental restoration which, when cemented into place, fully cup over the portion of a tooth that lies at and above the gum line. In comparison, fillings are dental restorations that fill in or cover over just a portion of a tooth. Since dental crowns encase the entire visible aspect of a tooth, a dental crown in effect becomes the tooth’s new outer surface. Crowns can be made out of porcelain (meaning some sort of dental ceramic), metal (a gold or other metal alloy), or a combination of both. Other terms that are used to refer to dental crowns are “dental caps” and “tooth caps.”
Why do teeth need dental crowns?
A dentist might recommend placing a dental crown for a variety of reasons but, in general, most of these reasons will usually fall within one of the following basic categories:
- To restore a tooth to its original shape.
- To strengthen a tooth.
- To improve the cosmetic appearance of a tooth.