A crown is a commonly used dental term that patients may not actually understand the meaning of. A crown, also known as a "cap", is technically a prosthesis for a natural tooth. Crowns are generally indicated when a tooth is weak and needs protection. After endodontic therapy (root canal) is performed, a crown is usually needed to protect the now weakened tooth.
Crowns are also necessary to "restore" an implant to function. After the implant is integrated into the bone, the crown is the prosthesis that looks and acts like a natural tooth. In addition, when fabricating a bridge to replace one or several missing teeth, crowns are used on the natural teeth to support the fake teeth.
Crowns can be made in-office using Cerec or by an outside professional laboratory technician. The design and craftsmanship that goes into producing a beautiful crown is dental art. Developing the skills of a dental technician to learn how to work with wax, metals, porcelains, and shades to produce a natural looking tooth that fits perfectly takes years to master.