Why Do Teeth Need To Be Ground Down Before Crown Placement?

28 February 2017
 Categories: Dentist, Blog


If you have undergone a root canal treatment or if one of your teeth has been severely damaged in some way, then your dentist may indicate that a crown should be placed on the tooth. Crowns are tooth caps that protect the natural tooth material. This allows you to keep your tooth while also maintaining a stronger and more aesthetically pleasing biting edge. Crowns do require some tooth grinding. Keep reading to learn why this is done.

It Makes Room For The Crown

Dental crowns are most commonly made out of porcelain. Porcelain is strong and hard, but the material may chip or crack if a dental implement is constructed with a thin layer of porcelain. To combat future damage concerns, porcelain crowns are relatively thick. The thickest part of the dental crown is the biting edge, which may be 1.5 millimeters thick. The sides of the crown will be thinner and may be as thin as .5 millimeters. 

Since a crown will add a few millimeters of material to a tooth, the device cannot simply be cemented over the dental enamel. The crown would then cause the outside of the tooth to protrude. The implement would simply be too big for the space. To make room for the crown, the exterior of the tooth is ground down. The grinding will directly correspond to the thickness of the crown. Specifically, more of the enamel will be removed from the biting edge. Thankfully, this part of the tooth is naturally thicker. 

It Releases Brittle Tooth Material

Crowns are used to save the teeth and to prevent extraction. However, the tooth caps are secured over brittle or damaged tooth material. When a tooth is damaged, the biting edge can continue to chip or crack. Also, if a root canal has been completed, which is suggested before a crown is adhered, the tooth will no longer retain the amount of fluid it once did. This makes the tooth brittle and dry. 

The tooth enamel is typically the most compromised by damage and dryness. Removing the enamel is the best way to keep cracking and other future dental concerns at bay. 

Tooth cracks are the biggest concern when the tooth is prepared for crown adhesion. Cracks, especially the vertical kind, can compromise the tooth root. If cracks reach the root and expand into it, the tooth may need to be completely extracted. 

In some cases, teeth need to be built up a small amount once all the damaged and brittle tooth material is removed. Resin filling or bonding material is often used in this case. 

For more information on dental crowns, contact a dental office like Four Corners Dental Group.