How Much Tooth Is Needed For A Crown?

dentist reviewing a patients dental imaging

Dental crowns are one of the most common forms of restorative dentistry because they can save a natural tooth even if there isn’t much tooth left. 

Yet, this begs the question—how much tooth is needed for a crown? At Huntington Bay Dental, this is a question we are often asked. In our article, we’ll answer this question and detail everything else you should know about crowns as we’ve been in the business for decades and are happy to inform our clients of their options. 

How Much Tooth Is Needed For A Crown? 

If you want your dental crown fitment to be perfect and useful, you must have enough of a tooth remaining. But how much tooth is actually needed for a crown? The answer can vary, but most dentists agree that a minimum of a fourth of a tooth must remain. 

A fourth is roughly 2 millimeters. You need at least this much of your natural tooth for successful bonding. Although this might seem like an issue, the good news is that a crown is possible for most people, and if it isn’t, there are alternatives. 

Note that traditional porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns may require more tooth reduction than newer types, like all-ceramic crowns. 

Where the tooth is severely damaged or weakened, a dental post or core (more on this later) may be necessary for additional support before crown placement. With advancements in dental technology, minimal preparation or “no-prep” crowns are also available. These preserve more of the natural tooth structure and can be used on teeth that are severely decayed.

Ultimately, your dentist will assess your case to determine the amount of tooth needed for a dental crown. Your dentist will aim to balance preserving healthy tooth structure and ensuring the crown’s stability and longevity.

What Happens if An Individual Doesn’t Have Enough Tooth Left For A Crown? 

Several options are available if you don’t have enough of a tooth left for a crown. We have listed these options so that you know there is light at the end of the tunnel concerning your dentistry needs:

  • Reviving the smile: when the need arises for additional support to hold a crown in place, a dentist can work wonders by reconstructing the natural tooth using a special composite material. Remarkably, this material is the same used for dental fillings, seamlessly blending both form and function.
  • The pillar of strength: when the natural tooth lacks the stability to support a crown, an ingenious technique called the “post-and-core foundation” comes to the rescue. The decayed portion of the tooth is delicately removed, making way for a sturdy metal post to be securely cemented into the root. Upon this foundation, a crown finds its rightful place, restoring the tooth’s former glory.
  • A new anchor in the jaw: for those facing severe damage or decay, a transformative solution emerges in the form of a “dental implant.” This cutting-edge approach involves the complete replacement of the natural tooth. A surgically positioned post takes root in the jawbone by gently extracting the compromised tooth, providing a steady anchor for the crown.
  • Bridging the gap: where the damage is beyond repair, the “dental bridge” treatment offers a bridge to a new smile. Individuals will bid farewell to the damaged or decayed tooth as an artificial tooth will step forward to fill the void. Held firmly in place by neighboring teeth or dental implants, this dental bridge is a strong connection, restoring aesthetics and function. Multiple damaged or missing teeth can form a well-crafted bridge in exceptional scenarios.

You should speak with a dentist at our practice to determine if one of these options suits your dental needs. 

What Are Dental Crowns? – How They Work

More and more people are turning toward dental crowns and other cosmetic dentistry in recent years because of tooth decay and damage. Approximately 2.3 million implant-supported crowns are made in the US alone annually. 

In addition, it is believed that the global dental crowns and bridges market is expected to reach 4.56 billion by 2026, proving that more people require restorative dentistry. 

A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is put over a badly damaged or decayed tooth. Often dental crowns are made from metal or porcelain, with the latter closely resembling tooth enamel to create a natural look. The location of your damaged or decayed tooth and your preference will determine which is chosen. 

Before a dental crown can be placed, a dentist will prepare your natural tooth by shaving down the tooth and removing any decay. Once this is done, an impression of your tooth will be taken to ensure the right size and shape crown is created for your tooth. 

How quickly a crown is made will depend on your needs and the dentist’s processes. When the crown has been made, your dentist will place it over your tooth. 

What Are the Benefits Of Dental Crowns?

If you are unsure about whether a dental crown is the best option for you, it may be useful to learn more about its benefits. Dental crowns offer a comprehensive and effective solution to an array of dental concerns and needs, such as:

  • Reinforcing severely decayed teeth, providing much-needed support.
  • Safeguarding worn-down teeth from further damage and deterioration.
  • Securing and fortifying teeth post-root canal procedures.
  • Mending and holding together severely cracked or broken teeth.
  • Serving as a protective cover for dental implants.
  • Enhancing the appearance of teeth by altering their shape or color.

Ultimately, dental crowns are a superior choice in the long term due to their exceptional durability, often lasting between 5 to 15 years, ‌significantly boosting patient satisfaction with the treatment.

The success rate of dental crown treatments surpasses other dental restoration methods.

woman with nice teeth and a bright, healthy-looking smile

Speak With A Dentist At Huntington Bay Dental Today To Discuss If You’re Eligible For Dental Crowns

Now you know how much of a tooth is needed for a crown. With this information, you can discuss your dental options with a skilled Long Island dentist from Huntington Bay Dental. 

Our dentists have years of experience helping individuals maintain, get back, or re-imagine their beautiful smiles. So contact us, and we will book a consultation to discuss if crowns are the right option for you.