If a tooth is cracked or badly broken down, a crown may be indicated to cover the tooth and protect it from biting and chewing forces. Crowns (or caps) can be made from metal or ceramic, are very strong and will likely last a lifetime. Note that the crown will last a lifetime, but the tooth beneath may not. The tooth is the weakest link in this type of restoration so it is critical that a crown is placed over the tooth as soon as the doctor recommends it. The more broken down a tooth becomes, the weaker it will be – even under a crown. Crowns are also used to cover implants or can be linked together to form a bridge that replaces missing teeth. A crown over a tooth is a very strong and versatile restoration.