Dental crowns, or tooth crowns, are tooth-shaped caps that sit on top of a natural tooth. They cover the tooth completely for structure, shape, and strength. These dental caps can help save a broken tooth, heavily decayed tooth, or otherwise damaged tooth. A dental crown prevents cracks or weaknesses from deteriorating further and creating more serious oral health issues. If you ignore tooth cracks, this can lead to infection in the tooth roots, requiring root canal therapy, or other concerns that need oral surgery.
Dental crowns are also used for teeth that will be exposed to heavier than normal forces, such as when dental bridges are attached to them.
Cosmetic dentistry will use a dental crown on a tooth to adjust its appearance. They are effective for cases when whitening treatments don't work, or to correct a misshapen tooth.
The visible prosthetic tooth that is attached to a dental implant is known as a dental crown, too.