How Much Tooth Structure Is Needed for a Crown?

How Much Tooth Structure Is Needed for a Crown?

TeamDental Crowns

When a tooth sustains too much damage for a filling to repair, your dentist may recommend a crown. A dental crown caps a damaged or decayed tooth, restoring its function and appearance.

A tooth needs at least one-fourth of its natural material (about two millimeters) above the gumline to attach a dental crown. If the tooth's structure does not meet these guidelines, it is a candidate for extraction.

About Dental Crowns

Dental crowns can preserve and protect tooth structure and sometimes save natural teeth from extraction. Common cases where dentists use crowns include when a tooth has excess decay, a traumatic injury such as a break or crack, and after a root canal.

Our office provides same-day crowns using the CEREC system and traditional crowns. We can mill CEREC crowns in the office from high-quality ceramic material, often eliminating the need for a temporary crown and a second visit. Same-day crowns are equally as strong as crowns from the dental laboratory.

Advantages of Dental Crowns

  • Restore chewing ability
  • Restore appearance
  • Restore teeth after root canals
  • Repair broken or cracked teeth
  • Preserve natural tooth spacing
  • Can be an alternative to extracting a natural tooth

The Same-Day Dental Crown Process

The first step in creating a same-day crown is taking digital impressions. We use an intraoral scanner to create a 3-D digital model of your mouth so that the crown fits perfectly and blends seamlessly with your smile. After impressions, the dentist shapes your tooth to remove decayed and damaged areas and prepare it to receive the restoration.

After taking another set of impressions to ensure a well-fitting crown, the dentist sends the data to the CEREC machine that mills the restoration. Your crown will be ready promptly.

After the machine completes your crown, the dentist will adjust it to ensure a perfect fit and a comfortable bite. After the dentist cements the crown, it will feel like a natural tooth.

Further Options to Make a Crown Work

If you lack sufficient tooth structure above the gumline, crown lengthening is another option. This minor procedure removes gum tissue to expose extra tooth material to attach the crown successfully.

How to Preserve Your Crown

You should be able to chew most foods safely with a crown, but be aware that sticky foods like candy may detach the crown from your tooth. We can recement a crown if it falls out.

Ensure you brush and floss normally, concentrating on the area around the crown. Proper crown maintenance will keep your prepared tooth safe, but further decay can happen without excellent oral care.

Call Oak Road Dentistry

If you have a damaged tooth needing restoration, please call our Snellville, GA, office at 770-985-9559 . We will schedule a dental consultation and exam to determine whether you need a crown or whether another restoration type would work.