What is a Full Coverage Crown

What is a Full Coverage Crown?



A full coverage dental restoration, also called a crown, is a dental prosthetic that repairs and helps to maintain the structure, shape, and strength of a damaged tooth. You might think of full coverage crowns as caps, which is a common term for these restorations, though crowns are more complex than mere caps, providing full coverage and protection for an entire tooth. In a healthy tooth, the outer layer of dental tissue, called the enamel, protects the other layers of the tooth, which include the innermost layer of sensitive, vital pulp that’s deep inside the tooth’s root and the calcified layer that gives the tooth its structure and shape. The enamel also provides the teeth with their lustrous appearance. Full coverage crowns serve a purpose similar to enamel, securing teeth that are cracked or broken, helping them retain their shape and function and protecting sensitive, exposed tooth roots. If there is excessive tooth decay, or if a dental filling falls out because of the integrity of a decayed tooth, a crown can help restore the structure of the tooth after a new filling is placed.

Crowns are also used to protect vulnerable tooth roots from infection after root canal procedures, a treatment designed to remove and repair painful, dangerous infection in the tooth roots and protect infection from recurring inside the teeth. Crowns are custom-designed and crafted to provide a natural appearance while restoring the natural teeth and helping maintain their function and integrity, salvaging the greatest amount of natural dental tissue while preserving the health of the oral cavity. They repair teeth that are broken, damaged, or misshapen and protect them from further damage and infection, keeping the teeth safe for years.


Different materials are used for full coverage crowns, mostly depending on the varying clinical needs and preferences of the patient. The more common materials vary widely in their benefits, drawbacks, and cost. Dental resin crowns are more affordable than some other materials, though they’re also less durable and tend to wear more quickly than other materials. Crowns that are made entirely of porcelain or ceramic aren’t as strong as some other types of crowns, but they provide a highly lifelike, aesthetic result. Various metals and metal alloys, including gold, are highly durable and require minimal alteration of the natural tooth, but they’re also obvious-looking and can interfere with cosmetic goals. For these reasons metal crowns are most often used for the molars, which require a durable material and which aren’t clearly seen when talking or smiling. The combination of metal and porcelain creates dental crowns that are a happy medium for many patients, matching the natural teeth in color and luster while benefiting from the strength of a metal base.

However, this metal base can gradually start to show through the gums, affecting the appearance, and the porcelain is still susceptible to breaking and cracking, though perhaps not as severely as with crowns that are entirely made of porcelain. These porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns can also pose problems for patients with metal allergies. Pressed ceramic crowns are a porcelain option that is more durable than other types of ceramic crowns, providing a natural appearance while being supported by a dense, solid ceramic core; these crowns tend to cost more than some of the other options, though they may provide the optimal combination of aesthetics and durability. In most cases, dentists and patients choose porcelain or ceramic options for the front teeth, reserving metal and combination options for the less-visible teeth.


Coverage Crowns vs. Veneers