How Much Tooth Structure Is Needed For A Crown?

How Much Tooth Structure Is Needed For A Crown?

Team Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are needed for several reasons such as restoring a broken tooth or protecting a weak tooth. It’s one of the most common procedures performed.

 It’s simply a cap placed over a tooth to help restore its appearance and functionality. However, there are some stipulations and requirements for getting a crown.

Keep reading to learn the process for placing a dental crown, how much tooth is required for a crown, as well as options for when there’s not enough tooth to place a crown.

The Process for Placing a Crown

To determine whether there is enough tooth to place a crown, it’s important to understand the process in which the crown is placed.

Dental crowns are caps built for structural support and to provide protection for the tooth. The cap is placed over the entire visible part of the tooth and is often used in situations where most of the tooth structure has been damaged by decay. This means the process begins by removing the decayed or damaged tissue from the tooth.

Once the decay is removed, the dentist shapes the remaining tooth structure to accommodate the crown. An impression is then taken to create a custom-made model for a dental crown. A provisional crown is placed over the tooth to provide protection while the definitive crown is fabricated. Once created, the final phase is placing the crown over the tooth.

Crowns are also advised when patients undergo root canal therapy. Once the infected dental pulp is removed, the tooth becomes progressively weak and brittle. The dental crown is placed to provide strength to the tooth.

How Much Tooth Structure is Required for a Crown?

As previously mentioned, the process for placing a crown is removing damage and decay and using the remaining tooth for a crown. This leads to the question, how much tooth structure is required for a crown?

Typically, a dentist needs two millimeters, or one-quarter, of tooth structure to place a dental crown. This portion must be strong enough to support the crown, If there is not enough healthy tooth available, there are other treatment options available, such as:

Composite resin build up – This helps build up the tooth structure using a natural-colored plastic that bonds to the enamel. This only works in combination with a dental crown because, on its own, the composite resin is not strong enough to restore a tooth.

Post-and-core foundation – If a root canal is required, more internal support is often required before placing a crown. This is known as a post-and-core foundation, where one or more posts are cemented inside the tooth for support and to make a strong foundation for the crown.

Dental implants – Implants are only considered when a traditional crown has failed or there’s not enough tooth structure to support a crown. This means the tooth is removed and replaced with an implant, then the crown is put on top of the implant – mimicking the natural tooth.

Learn More About Dental Crowns at Golia Dental

It often takes a dentist to determine if you have at least one-quarter of tooth structure to place a crown. If you do not have enough tooth structure, the dentist can determine the option best for your situation.If you need a dental crown, contact us at 203-248-7400 to learn more about your options and to schedule an appointment.