Dental crowns are tooth-shaped caps used to restore teeth. Your dentist may recommend you a crown if your teeth are significantly damaged or decayed. We often get asked, “How much tooth is needed for a dental crown?” This guide will answer this query. But first, let’s discuss how a dental crown is placed.

Dental Crown Placement

Before the procedure begins, your dentist will use dental anaesthetics to numb the area so that you don’t feel pain. The level of dental sedation can vary at your request. After that, your dentist will start to remove any decayed tissue. Your dentist will then shape the remaining tissue so that it can support a dental crown.
In complex cases where tooth decay has reached into the pulp and infected it, your dentist will perform a root canal procedure. During this procedure, your dentist will remove the infected pulp from the pulp chamber. Then, they will flush the remaining space with an antimicrobial solution before filling it with gutta-percha. This provides support for the remaining tooth structure and for the crown.

Now that we know how a crown is placed, let’s look at ways to modify the procedure depending on the amount of natural tooth structure.

How can the placement process be modified to work for different situations?

Dental crowns are recommended when only ¾ of your tooth is affected by decay or damage. For this reason, these crowns are designed to fit on a minimal tooth structure. So there must be something to mount the crown and enough tooth structure to provide support.

What if I don’t have enough external tooth structure to support a crown?

Suppose there is not enough external tooth structure to mount a crown. In that case, your dentist may build up an artificial tooth using composite resin. This resin material is a soft putty that can be hardened by using a special light. It is often used for composite fillings and cosmetic tooth bonding. A dental crown can be placed once your dentist constructs enough external tooth structure.

What if I don’t have enough internal support?

If you don’t have enough internal support, your dentist may use a post-and-core foundation to strengthen your tooth. This method is often used after a root canal procedure. It involves one or more metal posts placement into the tooth. This will provide enough internal support to your tooth so that it can support a dental crown.

What if my tooth is already missing?

If you need a tooth extraction or your tooth is already missing, your dentist will place a crown using a dental implant. First, they will place an implant into the empty socket. After that, your dentist will screw a metal connector piece in it. This metal connector, or abutment, is a metal post that can be attached to a crown. This way, you can have an implant-supported crown even if you have a missing tooth.


Dental crowns are highly versatile when it comes to how much tooth is needed for their placement. You can have a crown if ¾ of your natural tooth has been decayed or damaged. Likewise, dental crowns can be placed if even your tooth lacks internal or external support. Additionally, your dentist can even place a crown in an empty socket by using an implant. So if your tooth is decayed or damaged, please feel free to contact your dentist in Porter, TX. We are ready to help you!