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A dental crown is a tooth-shaped "cap" that is placed over a tooth -- to cover the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance.

Why Is a Dental Crown Needed?
A dental crown may be needed in the following situations:

  • To protect a weak tooth (for instance, from decay) from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth.
  • To restore an already broken tooth or a tooth that has been severely worn down.
  • To cover and support a tooth with a large filling when there isn't a lot of tooth left.
  • To hold a dental bridge in place.
  • To cover misshapen or severely discolored teeth.
  • To cover a dental implant.
  • To make a cosmetic modification.

What Types of Crowns Are Available?
Permanent crowns can be made from stainless steel, all metal (such as gold or another alloy), porcelain-fused-to-metal, and all resin, or all ceramic, zirconia.

What Problems Could Develop With a Dental Crown?

  • Discomfort or sensitivity.
  • Chipped crown.
  • Loose crown.
  • Crown falls off.
  • Allergic reaction.
  • Dark line on crowned tooth next to the gum line.

What Are "Onlays" and "3/4 Crowns?"
Onlays and 3/4 crowns are variations on the technique of dental crowns.

How Long Do Dental Crowns Last?
On average, dental crowns last between five and 15 years.

Does a Crowned Tooth Require Special Care?
While a crowned tooth does not require any special care.