August 20

Is Your Dentist Amputating Healthy Tooth Structure?

Nope, it’s not a misprint. Healthy tooth structure… If you are considering getting a full crown on one of your teeth, then the fact of the matter is that your dentist is probably considering amputating healthy tooth structure in order to install that crown. Before you take the plunge, take a quick look at some important facts about partial and full crowns:

Amputating healthy tooth structure often kills the nerve below.

This means that you are more likely to need a root canal sometime in the future. In fact, 85 percent of full crowned teeth have dying nerves and will need a root canal eventually.

Most dentists skip onlays and go straight to full crowns.

Healthy-tooth-structure-dental-onlay - Kenosha Dentist

If this is your first time through the crown process, you may not have even heard of onlays. An onlay is not quite a crown. Instead, it is a solid piece that covers the cusp of the tooth and replaces the decayed part of the tooth. A crown, on the other hand, is a cap that is placed over the entire tooth after decay is removed. In many cases, dentists opt for full crowns, which cover the entire tooth and require the removal of healthy tooth structure, rather than partial crowns or ¾ onlays.

Every millimeter counts with crowns.

Every millimeter of healthy tooth structure you can keep intact comes with about 30,000 connections to the nerve in your tooth. So, saving a single millimeter is a pretty big deal! Replacing only diseased and decayed tooth structure is the best way to extend the life of your tooth, its root, and the nerve below.

Unfortunately, most dentists do not perform ¾ onlays because they do not necessarily have the resources with which to do so. Dr. Pat Crawford is the only dentist in Wisconsin who offers this service! Dr. Crawford’s office owns two Cerec machines.  One hour is all we need to mill the crown and you leave with it the same day.  It just takes one appointment to get a crown now. After all, if you have ever needed a crown, you know how much speed matters!

If you have never heard of ¾ onlays and want to know more before having a full crown installed in your mouth, contact Dr. Crawford or read more at


amputate tooth structure, dental surgery

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