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how much tooth is needed for a crown sydney

How Much Tooth is Needed for a Crown? Understanding the Procedure

Tooth damage caused by decay or injury can harm your dental health and self-esteem. You might be more reluctant to smile and speak to people with less-than-perfect teeth. No Gaps Dental can help you regain confidence through restorative dentistry treatment like a dental crown

Our dentists can explain how much tooth is needed for a crown so you understand the procedure and help you restore your smile with a tooth-coloured dental crown in just one appointment. 

Dental crowns offer a natural-looking solution for damaged or decayed teeth. They can cover severe stains, repair cracked enamel, and provide structure to a weak tooth. Dentists use several materials for dental crowns, including composites, metal, porcelain, and porcelain over metal. 

Learn about the dental crown procedure, factors that affect how much tooth is needed for a crown, and options available when you lack healthy tooth structure. 


Dental Crown Procedure

Your dentist begins the procedure by removing damaged portions of your tooth and enough enamel to make room for the crown. This process involves filing and shaping the tooth on all sides, so the crown sits flush with your existing teeth.

dental crowns option procedure sydneyNext, your dentist will take a mould or digital scan of the remaining tooth and use it to create the crown. If you get a porcelain or metal dental crown, your dentist will send the mould to a lab to create your permanent crown. To protect your remaining tooth structure, you will have a temporary crown until your tooth restoration is ready.

If you opt for a CEREC crown, the dentist makes your crown the same day using CAD/CAM technology and our on-site milling machine. This option creates your dental crown from a solid block of ceramic material that is baked to create a long-lasting, durable crown. 

When your permanent crown is ready, your dentist uses a dental bonding cement to attach the crown to your prepared tooth. They check the fit and ensure the proper alignment and bite.


Factors That Affect How Much Tooth is Needed for a Crown

In most cases, you need approximately 28-37% of your tooth remaining to anchor dental crowns. The tooth must distribute the force placed on the crown to the root for proper dental health. However, how much tooth is needed for a crown  depends on several factors, including:


Crown Materials

Dentists can choose from several materials when designing your dental crown. The location of the tooth, bite force used, the colour of surrounding teeth, and gum tissue health affect the choice.


  • Ceramic

Our CEREC crowns offer the convenience of a one-day procedure. At No Gaps Dental, our CEREC crowns are made of one block of tooth-coloured ceramic and only require one appointment. These crowns typically last between 10 to 15 years and require a minimal amount of tooth to attach due to the precise computer-aided design. 



  • Metal

Gold, palladium, nickel, and chromium are the most common metals used for dental crowns. Dentists typically only place them on premolars or molars because they are highly noticeable but can withstand the intense bite force at the rear of the dental arch. Metal crowns are the thinnest option available and require more remaining tooth material to stay in place. 


  • Porcelain 

Porcelain or ceramic dental crowns offer the most natural appearance. Porcelain has the same light-reflecting properties as your tooth enamel, allowing the dental crown to blend seamlessly with your natural teeth. 

Porcelain crowns typically require less tooth material removal compared with metal crowns. On average, Porcelain crowns need an 0.8mm margin depth, while metal crowns need a 1.4mm margin depth. 


  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal

The porcelain portion of a porcelain-metal crown matches your surrounding teeth, while the metal provides durability. Porcelain-fused-to-metal dental crowns last between 5 to 15 years and require the same amount of remaining tooth as metal amalgam crowns. 


Options for Insufficient Tooth

If the crown preparation process removes too much tooth, your dentist may treat you with one of several options. Your dentist can build up the remaining tooth with a composite bonding material, place a post and core crown, or use a dental implant.


  • Composite Resin

The composite resin used for fillings, bonding, and crowns can be added to your tooth to provide extra bulk. By building up your tooth with resin, your dentist can shape it just like your natural tooth so that a dental crown fits snugly on top.  

guide tooth crowns sydney


  • Post and Core Crown

Post and core dental crowns are used after a root canal procedure and are usually only used if more than half your tooth is removed. The post portion goes into the empty root canal to stabilise the crown. 


  • Dental Implant

An alternative to a post and core crown is a dental implant. Dental implants are ideal for people with severely damaged or missing teeth. If you don’t have enough remaining tooth for a traditional dental crown, your dentist may recommend extracting the tooth and replacing it with an implant post and crown to restore your smile’s aesthetic and functionality. 


No Gaps Dental Can Enhance Your Smile

If you have a chipped, decayed, or broken tooth you’d like to have looked at, schedule an appointment with No Gaps Dental. Our restorative dentistry services, including dental crowns, bridges, and dental implants, allow us to assess your needs and restore your smile with the appropriate treatment. 

Book an appointment online at one of our 15 locations, or give us a call on (02) 8007 6727 or at your nearest practice.




Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.






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