Dental crowns are restorations that protect damaged, cracked or broken down teeth. A crown strengthens your existing damaged tooth so as to preserve its functionality.
Dental crowns are also commonly known as caps because a crown sits over your existing tooth covering the entire outer surface analogous to how a baseball cap would cover your head.
Crowns should not be the first treatment of choice just to improve the aesthetics of your teeth, because a dentist needs to grind a significant portion of the original tooth away. Less invasive alternatives include veneers or dental bonding. Crowns are required when the strength of the tooth supporting the restoration is compromised since veneers and dental bonding restorations are only as strong as the supporting tooth.
In modern day dentistry there is a wide variety of dental materials to choose from. Some crowns are made from full gold, where as others are made from an alloy of metals fused to a porcelain outer shell. After time, crowns and veneers that are made from a combination of metal fused to porcelain can begin to show dark gum lines that are not aesthetically attractive. All porcelain or ceramic crowns or veneers are the best choice for a natural cosmetic look. There are many different brands and types of porcelain crowns and the variation between the costs of dental crowns at different dental practices may well reflect the quality of the materials used.