Dental Crowns

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.”


A dental crown on a tooth is needed when either a good portion of the tooth is gone or a good portion of the biting edge is gone – there are large old fillings, a tooth fracture, or a large area of tooth decay. A filling is used to fill a small portion of the tooth – a crown when the tooth has extensive damage. And there are three basic categories of crowns for front teeth: bonded all porcelain, extra strength all porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal.