Partial vs Full Coverage Crowns

Partial vs Full Coverage Crowns


When it comes to restoring damaged or weakened teeth, dental crowns are a versatile solution. However, not all crowns are created equal. Understanding the difference between partial and full coverage dental crowns can help you make informed decisions about your dental treatment options. In this article, we'll explore the specifics of partial and full coverage crowns and discuss their respective indications and benefits.

Partial Coverage Dental Crowns:

Partial coverage dental crowns, also known as onlays or three-quarter crowns, are restorations that cover only a portion of the tooth's surface. These crowns are used when the damage or decay affecting the tooth is not extensive enough to warrant a full coverage crown.

Indications for Partial Coverage Crowns:

* Large Fillings: When a tooth has a large filling that compromises its structural integrity, a partial coverage crown may be recommended to provide additional support and protection to the remaining tooth structure.
* Cusp Fractures: If a tooth has fractured cusps but the majority of the tooth structure remains intact, a partial coverage crown can be used to restore the damaged areas while preserving as much natural tooth structure as possible.
* Aesthetic Concerns: Partial coverage crowns can also be used for cosmetic purposes to improve the appearance of teeth with minor imperfections such as discoloration, irregular shape, or minor chips.

Benefits of Partial Coverage Crowns:

* Preservation of Tooth Structure: Partial coverage crowns require less tooth reduction compared to full coverage crowns, preserving more of the natural tooth structure.
* Conservative Treatment: Since partial coverage crowns only cover a portion of the tooth, they provide a conservative treatment option for restoring damaged teeth.
* Aesthetic Enhancement: Partial coverage crowns can enhance the appearance of teeth by correcting minor imperfections while maintaining a natural look.
Full Coverage Dental Crowns:
Full coverage dental crowns, as discussed in previous articles, cover the entire visible portion of the tooth above the gumline. These crowns are indicated for more extensive damage or decay that requires complete coverage and protection.
Indications for Full Coverage Crowns:
* Severe Decay: Teeth with extensive decay that cannot be effectively restored with fillings may require full coverage crowns to provide strength and protection.
* Fractured or Broken Teeth: Full coverage crowns are used to restore teeth that have been fractured or broken due to trauma, injury, or excessive wear.
* Root Canal Treatment: Following root canal therapy, teeth often become weakened and more susceptible to fracture. Full coverage crowns are commonly placed on root canal-treated teeth to protect them from further damage.
Benefits of Full Coverage Crowns:
* Comprehensive Protection: Full coverage crowns provide complete coverage and protection to damaged or weakened teeth, reducing the risk of further decay or fracture.
* Strength and Durability: With their full coverage design, these crowns offer superior strength and durability, allowing patients to bite, chew, and speak with confidence.
* Aesthetic Enhancement: Full coverage crowns are custom-made to match the shape, size, and color of natural teeth, providing seamless aesthetic restoration.


In summary, both partial and full coverage dental crowns offer effective solutions for restoring damaged or weakened teeth. The choice between partial and full coverage crowns depends on the extent of damage or decay affecting the tooth, as well as individual patient needs and preferences. Consulting with a qualified dentist can help determine the most suitable treatment option for achieving optimal oral health and aesthetics.


What is a Full Coverage Crown