A crown is used to cap or completely cover damaged or decayed teeth. Crowns cover the entire visible portion of the tooth, restoring both function and appearance.

Crowns can be brushed and flossed like natural teeth. They are used to restore damaged teeth that other methods, like bonding, are unable to correct. Crowns may be used to anchor a bridge. They may also be used in conjunction with a dental implant. See sections on Cosmetic Bonding and Dental Implants for more information.


Crowns may be used to:

  • Repair a significantly decayed or damaged tooth
  • Repair a fracture
  • Protect a large filling or inlay
  • Strengthen a tooth subjected to a root canal
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Improve smiles’ aesthetics

Treatment Options

  • Metal crowns are made from gold alloy, palladium, nickel alloy, chromium alloy or a combination of metals. Metal crowns are the strongest and most durable type of crown available. Since metal crowns are not tooth-colored, they are recommended for the back teeth.
  • All-porcelain (all-ceramic) crowns can provide the best match to natural tooth color and are usually placed in the front of the mouth. All-porcelain and all-ceramic crowns are the most expensive type of crown because they require more skill to design and more time to place.
  • Metal fused to porcelain or ceramic crowns are more common than all-porcelain and all-ceramic crowns and can be matched to adjacent teeth. The metal underneath the porcelain may distort the natural coloring of the teeth and cause a thin metal band to appear along the gumline over time.

Permanent crowns are usually constructed in a dental laboratory, however, temporary crowns made from acrylic, stainless steal or resin can be made in a dentist’s office and used until the permanent crown is available.


  • Permanent solution to tooth loss
  • Improves chewing and tooth function
  • Natural-looking tooth substitute
  • Improves self-esteem and confidence