Crown, Veneer, Onlay, Inlay, or Combination - for Hollowed out Vertical Decayed Half Premolar? (photo)

Save or Chop off Top of Tooth? I've read 1mm is minimum width of porcelain. My tooth appears hollowed out. Better to chop off top of tooth for crown or to retain existing half tooth from top to bottom? Seems to leave so little tooth to place a cap / crown. Also filling to be removed. Of course enamel isn't thick to start with, and crowns are done all the time. Still I wonder if using the tooth hollow for buildup could actually aid strength, then the top is done as an inlay, and backside all porcelain top to gum line.

Doctor Answers 4

Do the complete process

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Based on your Xray, you can be sure you will be needing a root canal + porcelain crown. I do not think the inlay will be the solution in this case and you need to fix it soon before you start feeling pain because of the exposed nerve.

Treatment options for decayed tooth

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Thank you for photos and X-ray. Looking at the information provided, your nerve also seem to be involved in the decay. Root Canal, core build up after caries clean up and a crown would be the best long term solution. Good Luck and hope you get this taken care of soon. 

Hema Patel, DDS
Fremont Dentist

Whats the best option?

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Based on the radiograph and photo I would suggest root canal build up and crown. Remember you can always extract but you only have one chance to save the tooth good luck



Kevin Coughlin DMD, MBA, MAGD      CEO Baystate Dental PC

Kevin Coughlin, DMD
Springfield Dentist

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Restore tooth

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It appears the nerve may be involved as well, needing a root canal.  If not, I would suggest removing all decay and filling the tooth to build it up and then crown the tooth.  A crown will need a bare minimum of 4 mm of vertical walls to resist lateral chewing forces.  Your stated 1 mm is for an all gold or all zirconium crown, but generally you need 2 mm thickness on top (occlusal reduction).  I prefer eMax by Ivoclar.  You CAN try to be creative, but often creative treatments break more often than traditional.


Buildup and crown is most predictable.

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