Dental crowns are used to restore a tooth to its original shape, to strengthen a tooth, or to improve the cosmetic appearance of a damaged tooth, such as one that is fractured. Dental crowns can also be the solution for missing teeth, to cover a root canal treatment, attach a bridge, or cover a dental implant. There are various choices for crown materials, with functionality, strength and appearance as key elements in your choice. Ceramic materials, such as porcelain, are more commonly chosen today, as they can be matched very closely to your other teeth, and are used especially for teeth that are visible when smiling or talking. Dental crowns, also known as “caps,” can also be made out of metals – gold or metal alloys – or a combination of all these materials. Gold or gold alloy crowns have some advantages, such as their strength, durability, and ability to wear at about the same rate as the tooth enamel they cover. They are more commonly used for aesthetic reasons in the back of the mouth – unseen with your smile!