Compared to fillings which just cover a small portion of a tooth, porcelain crowns (or caps) encases the entire visible portion of a tooth. In effect, a porcelain crown acts as the tooth’s new outer surface and is necessary when a tooth is broken or decayed to such an extent that a filling wont be able to repair the problem.
Porcelain crowns are able to provide a protective shell around the damaged or decayed tooth to strengthen it, as well as to improve the appearance of the tooth. They can also help restore a tooth to its original shape, and can even be used in the front of the mouth in lieu of orthodontics. While crowns have historically been made of different materials, advances in dental technology allow us to place an all-ceramic crown in any part of the mouth without the fear of fracture that we used to experience with older porcelains. That means no more metal!