There are a number of indications for placing a crown on a tooth. This can become confusing as even the term crown can be interchanged with “cap”. In simple terms, a crown is a restoration that covers the entire circumference of a tooth. The indications for this procedure are a fractured tooth, a tooth witha large, failing filling, an old crown that is leaking, extensive decay, or a back tooth that has had a root canal. Not all teeth that need a crown, need a root canal, but most all back teeth, and some front teeth that have had a root canal, need a crown.
There are a variety of materials that can be used for crowns that include all metal, porcelain and metal, and all porcelain. The factors that determine the material choice relate to strength and esthetics. The evolution of new materials are getting us closer to being able to provide beauty without sacrificing strength.