Crowns are synthetic teeth-like coverings that are designed to make your tooth stronger and improve its appearance. Crowns can be tooth colored or gold. Crowns are necessary when a tooth is generally broken down and fillings won't solve the problem. A crown is a restoration that covers, or "caps," a tooth to restore it to its normal shape and size, strengthening and improving the appearance of a tooth.

Crowns normally last between five and eight years. Many last much longer if you practice good daily oral hygiene. Teeth grinding, chewing ice, or fingernail biting may lower the life expectancy of your crown significantly, however.

Avoid chewing hard foods, ice or other hard objects. Cleaning between your teeth is vital with crowns. Floss or interdental cleaners (specially shaped brushes and sticks) are important tools to remove plaque from the crown area where the gum meets the tooth. Plaque in that area can cause dental decay and gum disease.