A crown is a tooth-shaped cap, usually made of porcelain or metal, that fits over a tooth that is too badly damaged to be repaired. It is a very common procedure, but why might your dentist want you to have one?

Damaged teeth

Chipped teeth, or teeth that have suffered from tooth decay, can often be restored by fillings or bonding. However, if the damage is too extensive, it may not be possible to fill the tooth, and it will have to be restored by having a crown fitted over it.

Dental crowns can also be used to hold together a chipped or damaged tooth that does not need any other treatment.

Root canals

If the pulp of your teeth has become infected with bacteria, you may have to have root canal treatment. This involves removing the infected pulp from the tooth, and filling and sealing it. This should cure the infection and any pain you have been experiencing, but it will leave the tooth much weaker than a healthy untreated tooth. If this is the case, putting a crown over the tooth will help to strengthen it and ensure that no further damage occurs.


A bridge is a replacement for a missing tooth, partly for aesthetic reasons, and partly to stop the existing teeth from shifting position. Unlike dentures, a bridge is fixed permanently in your mouth. This is done by placing crowns over adjoining teeth and then using them to support the crown for the missing tooth.


A dental implant is another method of replacing a lost or extracted tooth and is usually recommended for people who cannot wear dentures due to shrinkage of the mouth or because the mouth has been damaged through trauma or disease. In this method, a titanium screw, which can then be used to attach a crown, is drilled into the jaw.

Cosmetic reasons

A crown can vastly improve the appearance of teeth if they are badly discoloured or misshapen. As the crown will be made the same colour as your existing tooth, the result should be undetectable and will give you an attractive smile.

There are many reasons why a dentist may recommend a crown, and the result will be a natural-looking tooth that helps to give you a confident smile. As always, if your are uncertain about any aspect of your treatment, your dentist will be happy to explain further.