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Dental crowns

Dental crowns are permanent tooth covers that are cemented to chipped, cracked or broken teeth to improve their appearance and function.

By Zeel Editorial Staff, Last updated: June 26, 2012

Treatment Basics

Other names: Caps

Dental crowns are permanent tooth-shaped caps made of porcelain or metal. They make a wonderful replacement for healthy teeth when cemented onto teeth that are broken, crooked, or decayed. Crowns can improve both physical appearance and chewing ability. They are typically made from either metal or porcelain.

Crowns made from porcelain may be sculpted, tinted, and finished to match the surrounding teeth. Metal crowns don't resemble "real" teeth, but they're stronger than porcelain crowns and cause less wear to the adjacent teeth. They are, however, normally used on teeth in the back of the mouth. The metals most often used are gold, nickel, chromium, and palladium. Combination crowns—porcelain bonded to metal—aim to provide both longevity and a more natural look.

What It's Good For

Dental crowns are permanent tooth covers, cemented to chipped, cracked, broken, or crooked teeth to improve their appearance and function. They are also used in combination with dental implants to substitute for missing teeth.

Who it works for: For teeth that are badly flawed, dental crowns are a better option than dental veneers. While veneers are bonded to the front surface of your tooth, crowns completely cover the tooth and hide all imperfections beneath. Dental crowns also make teeth more resistant to decay and long-term injury.

Recommended age range: Adult teeth are required for crowns.

When will I see results?: Once placed, your dental crowns are ready for action. Say cheese!

How long it lasts: Though not quite as strong as a real tooth, a dental crown, if properly cared for, may last five to 15 years.

Key benefits of dental crowns: Crowns can vastly improve the appearance and structural integrity of crooked, discolored, broken, or chipped teeth. A new, accelerated crown application procedure, called CAD/CAM , has made getting crowns both faster and safer.

Find experts who offer dental crowns near you