Dental caries (cavities) are one of the most common problems that dentists see on a regular basis. Restorations (fillings) are placed after removal of tooth decay. They can be of the tooth colored variety (composite resins) or dental amalgam (silver looking fillings).
Consult with your dentist to see what type of restoration is suitable for you.
Crowns are full coverage restorations that can be used in several instances. They are utilized most often in cases where the tooth is highly compromised. This includes: cracked or cracking teeth, very large restorations, or when teeth have had endodontic therapy (root canals). They can also be used to mask highly discolored teeth or camoflauge slightly malpositioned teeth.
The procedure is to shave the tooth down in all dimensions and sending a molding of the tooth to a lab. In the interim, the prepared tooth is given a temporary crown. A few weeks later, the temporary crown is removed and the definitive crown is cemented. This provides a restoration that is stronger than a large filling and can aid in tooth strength.