When a large piece of tooth has broken away, or when the natural tooth is very decayed, a crown can be the best option. Crowns are tooth-shaped restorations that fit over the top of your teeth and can be made from metal, porcelain or a combination of both. Traditionally to maximise the balance of strength and aesthetics a metal base for the bridge was used to support the ceramic layers. More recently high strength all ceramic materials have emerged and allow no metal to be used in certain cases. Your Prosthodontist is best positioned to help make this decision.
Sometimes the support structure for the crown needs to be strengthened and this is sometimes done with either a core, or for root treated teeth a post. An impression is then taken of your affected tooth and the corresponding tooth that bites down on it for your crown to be made. Your dentist may fit you with a temporary crown whilst your permanent crown is being made – this typically takes up to four weeks as the impression of your tooth typically goes to a master technician to create a custom handmade tooth replacement that only fits your mouth.