A dental crown, also referred to as "dental caps" or "tooth caps", is a fixed prosthetic device used to restore an existing tooth and is cemented into place to cover the entire portion of the tooth that is exposed above the gum line. This "new" tooth surface is usually constructed with porcelain, gold or other metal alloy, or a combination of both. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth, however metal alloys are generally stronger and may be recommended for back teeth.
Before a crown can be made, the tooth must be recontoured so that the crown will fit over it properly. After reducing the tooth, an impression will be taken to provide an exact mold so that it fits perfectly around the prepared tooth. If porcelain is to be used, your dentist will determine the correct shade for the crown to match the color of your existing teeth.
A temporary crown will be put in place to cover the prepared tooth while the permanent crown is being made to prevent sensitivity. When the permanent crown is ready, the temporary crown is removed, and the new crown is secured in place with a special cement.