A crown or cap is a cover that fits over a tooth that has been damaged by decay, broken, badly stained, or misshaped. It is prepared by your dentist and usually requires more than one visit to complete.
A crown can be made of acrylic, metal, porcelain, or porcelain bonded to metal. All-porcelain crowns look more like your natural teeth and therefore are usually used for front teeth, while porcelain bonded to metal is stronger and better for crowns in the back of the mouth. Sometimes all-metal crowns are used for back teeth because of the metal’s strength.
To prepare your tooth for a crown, the tooth is first frozen with anesthesia and then filed down so the cap can fit over it. An impression of the teeth and gums is made, and a temporary cap is fitted over the tooth until the permanent crown is ready. On your next visit, the dentist will remove the temporary cap and cement the crown onto the tooth. The crown will closely match the color and shape of your natural teeth.