When a tooth has a cavity or crack that encompasses half the width of the tooth or more, it often needs a crown, also known as a “cap”. Cracked or decay ridden teeth are usually so weak to be restored any other way, so a crown – which covers the entire tooth – is placed. The crown itself is designed to save what is left of a tooth and prevent further degradation. Patients who forgo the crown procedure typically require a root canal or extraction. If a crown is needed, the dental care team will fit a temporary crown, take impressions, and send those impressions to a lab to create a crown tailored specifically for the patient. The dentist will seat the permanent crown at a follow up appointment, usually two to three weeks later.