Crowns are similar to veneers, but work on teeth that are weaker, more brittle or worn. Unlike veneers, dental crowns are bonded all the way around the tooth to add a lot more strength and durability.
Natural-looking crowns can be an option when the entire surface of the tooth is a problem, but the root system is still intact. Large scale defects in the tooth's surface can be caused by the grinding of teeth, tooth decay, root canals, decay beneath a filling or a lost filling, chipping and cracking of the enamel.
Although gold or metal crowns are still used, durable porcelain crowns made from pure ceramic or a new reinforced composite resin have become more popular and are almost indistinguishable from natural teeth.