Tooth structure removal associated with various preparation designs for anterior teeth

J Prosthet Dent. 2002 May;87(5):503-9. doi: 10.1067/mpr.2002.124094.


Statement of problem: The conservation of sound tooth structure helps preserve tooth vitality and reduce postoperative sensitivity. Innovative preparation designs, like those for porcelain laminate veneers, are much less invasive than conventional complete-coverage crown preparations. However, no study has quantified the amount of tooth structure removed during these preparations.

Purpose: The purpose of this study was to quantify and compare the amount of tooth structure removed when various innovative and conventional tooth preparation designs were completed on different teeth.

Material and method: . A new comprehensive tooth preparation design classification system was introduced. Typodont resin teeth representing the maxillary left central incisor, maxillary left canine, and mandibular left central incisor were prepared with the following designs: partial (V1), traditional (V2), extended (V3), and complete (V4) porcelain laminate veneer preparations; resin-bonded retainer preparation with grooves (A1) and with wing/grooves (A2); all-ceramic crown preparation with 0.8 mm axial reduction and tapering chamfer finish line (F1), all-ceramic crown preparation with 1.0 mm axial reduction and rounded shoulder finish line (F2), and metal-ceramic crown with 1.4 mm axial reduction and facial shoulder finish line (F3). After tooth preparations (10 per group), the crown was separated from the root at the CEJ. The removed coronal tooth structure was measured with gravimetric analysis. Means and standard deviations for tooth structure removal with different preparation designs were calculated and analyzed with analysis of variance at a significance level of P<.05.

Results: Significant differences in the amount of tooth structure removal were noted between preparation designs. Ceramic veneers and resin-bonded prosthesis retainers were the least invasive preparation designs, removing approximately 3% to 30% of the coronal tooth structure by weight. Approximately 63% to 72% of the coronal tooth structure was removed when teeth were prepared for all-ceramic and metal-ceramic crowns. For a single crown restoration, the tooth structure removal required for an F3 preparation (metal-ceramic crown) was 4.3 times greater than for a V2 preparation (porcelain laminate veneer, facial surface only) and 2.4 times greater than for a V4 preparation (more extensive porcelain laminate veneer).

Conclusion: Within the limitations of this study, tooth preparations for porcelain laminate veneers and resin-bonded prostheses required approximately one-quarter to one-half the amount of tooth reduction of conventional complete-coverage crowns.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Crowns
  • Dental Abutments
  • Dental Veneers
  • Denture, Partial, Fixed, Resin-Bonded
  • Humans
  • Models, Dental
  • Tooth Preparation, Prosthodontic / methods*