A crown, or cap, is a tooth-like shell bonded over a carefully prepared existing tooth. Used to strengthen, restore or improve the appearance of your natural tooth, a crown is fitted on the individual tooth much like a thimble over a finger. A crown is usually required when a tooth has been extensively weakened or restored, or when a tooth is cracked or broken. Crowns are usually placed on teeth where there is no longer sufficient tooth structure to support a filling.
Conventional crowns are made of porcelain, fused to a metal substructure. The latest advances in cosmetic dental materials have been made in the development of metal-free, ceramic crowns. The absence of metal allows for the construction of highly aesthetic, translucent crowns that imitate the characteristics of a natural tooth perfectly. Well constructed and accurately fitting crowns can last several years.