The terms dental crowns and caps are synonymous. When dental decay, cracked fillings, root canals or clenching and grinding of the teeth have caused extensive damage to the underlying tooth structure, a dental filling may not be a sufficient restoration. The only way to completely restore the cosmetic appearance and function of this tooth is often full coverage with a dental crown. The good news is that a completed dental crown looks and feels like a natural tooth.
In addition to restoring a single natural tooth, crowns can be used in other situations including being the supporting ends of a dental bridge, as a dental implant restoration, or as coverage for a cracked tooth to prevent further breakdown. A crown may be also be indicated when a discolored or stained tooth needs to be restored to have a more pleasing natural appearance. Crowns can be made of either of porcelain baked onto a metal substrate, all-porcelain, or many of the new ceramic materials that have been developed.