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The Benefits of Partial Crowns

Life is full of imperfections. Luckily, we’ve got solutions to repair many common issues, and fixing some of your dental imperfections can be done quickly and easily. The use of dental crowns provides both an aesthetic and functional purpose in restoring a healthy and attractive smile. 

What is a Crown? 

Just as the name implies, a crown sits atop your tooth. And while it may not be royalty, it does provide your tooth with protection. The dental crown is a cemented restoration that partially or completely covers the outside of the tooth; you may also hear it referred to as a cap. A crown needs to be done when a cavity has destroyed the tooth too much or when a big filling failed, broke, or developed cavities underneath. The purpose of the dental crown is largely to restore your tooth’s strength and integrity. By doing so, a crown is one of the best options in extending the life of the tooth. 

There are times, however, when only minimal tooth damage exists and a partial crown can be used instead of capping the entire tooth. These are generally used when the tooth does not have enough structure left to support a filling, but trimming for a full crown would unnecessarily remove too much tooth structure. They come in various classes, depending on how much of the tooth needs to be covered:

  • Three quarter crown
  • Reverse 3/4 crown
  • Seven-eighth crown
  • One-half crown
  • Conservative crowns

Other terminology for partial crowns includes inlays and onlays. An inlay rests inside of the tooth, being surrounded in all directions by tooth structure. An onlay partly covers the tooth and is partly surrounded by tooth structure.

Because partial crowns cap only part of the tooth, the preparation is significantly less than what is needed for a full dental crown or implant. Unlike the more extensive preparation process needed on a full crown, only a relatively small amount of trimming of the tooth is required for a partial. This allows the patient optimal restoration and tooth preservation.

When Do You Need a Crown?

Dental crowns, either full or partial, are widely used after certain dental treatments like implant restorations or root canal treatments. They help the remaining tooth structure by supporting and maintaining its integrity. Partial crowns are indicated only when your tooth structure is healthy, free of cavities, firm, and strong enough to provide sufficient surface area for a better grip and retention of the crown when it is glued. If there is a possibility of periodontal problems or any gum disease or cavities, it is always better to get a full crown as it protects the remaining tooth structure.

One of the more common situations that might require a partial dental crown include broken cusps. Cusps (the pointy ends of the molars) frequently break off of teeth due to trauma or large existing fillings. Since the cusps are the part of the tooth that take the most stress during chewing, they need to be completely covered or the tooth will keep fracturing. Partial crowns present an ideal solution by lowering the possibility of ever needing a root canal on that tooth through a less invasive and more cost-effective form of treatment.

Partial crowns may also be used as a treatment option for cosmetic purposes. Porcelain veneers are crowns that cover only the front and biting edge of teeth. These all-ceramic restorations are usually placed on front teeth to change the color or shape of teeth or to add symmetry and balance to a smile and may not even require preparing or shaving the existing teeth. Since they are at times placed on crooked teeth, treatment with veneers has sometimes been referred to as “instant orthodontics.”

Small changes often have a big impact, and partial crowns are a prime example. Their use can address both aesthetic and structural issues in your overall dental health. Regular checkups with your dentist will ensure that your teeth and gums are strong and healthy.

Ready to Improve Your Smile? Our team at LifeSmiles by Randy Mitchmore, DDS is ready to create a anxiety-free treatment plan for any crowns or dental implants. Call our friendly, fun office today to schedule your appointment.


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Sally May-Frankum
Dental Hygienist

Sally’s favorite part about working with the team at LifeSmiles is the fun she has with her co-workers. Additionally, she appreciates working with Dr. Randy Mitchmore because much like her, he values whole-body health for his patients. She’s proud to be part of a team that does such high quality work.

Outside of the office: Sally enjoys being with her children and grandchildren and uses writing as a creative outlet. On the weekends, she can be found doing all things outdoors including hiking and biking.


Bucket List: Going to Europe, exploring every US state, and zip-lining.

Hero: The Highest Power of them all!

Toni Wilson
Queen of Charisma

 “Every great dream begins with a dreamer.”

Toni’s favorite thing about working at LifeSmiles is the beautiful scenery. When patients are having anxiety about their dental appointments, she creates a fearless atmosphere with her charisma and warmth. She is passionate about helping every patient achieve their dental health goals. She says she truly loves being part of a team where she can grow professionally and personally.

Outside the office: Toni loves spending time with her husband and their sons. She also likes to show off her green thumb with her work in her garden.

Bucket list item:
Travel around the world and learn about other cultures and regions.

Your hero: Harriet Tubman because she was passionate and a fearless leader unafraid of any of life’s challenges.

Mike Mireles
Elite Care and Education Specialist

Smiling is contagious

Mike began his career at LifeSmiles seeking an opportunity to expand his skillset and advance his career. Today he works at Dr. Michmore’s side through dental procedures and surgeries. He loves working at LifeSmiles because the entire team is continually learning and keeping up to date with the newest advancements in dentistry.

Outside the office: Mike enjoys barbecuing on his patio, traveling, and spending time with his family. He’s a dog dad of two: Tati and Tito.

Bucket list item:
To visit Thailand and Dubai and to try skydiving!

Your hero: Mike looks up to his parents and is forever grateful for the life lesson they taught him; respect, manners, strength, and to be a go-getter. He continues to carry these things with him with everything he does.

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Sandra Smith

Sandra is 44 years old and is a star athlete for the Special Olympics. At LifeSmiles, Sandra stocks patient rooms and the coffee bar. She does all kinds of special projects like decorating for holidays and preparing awesome gifts for our patients.

Sandra loves being around all her friends and is proud to wear a LifeSmiles shirt, jacket, and name badge. You’ll always find her smiling and helping make our patients smile too.

Outside the Office: Sandra likes to go fishing with her family, swim, go to dances, and walk the mall with her friends. She is very active in the Special Olympics and won second place in the state volleyball tournament (go, Sandra!) in 2020. She sings in her church choir and attends international performances with them.

Spirit Animal: Butterfly. She likes them because they are pretty.

Andie Willis
Director of Details

Andie is married with one son, Logan and now lives in The Woodlands. She grew up in Sugar Land and has followed in her mother’s footsteps – she has been in dentistry for over 35 years. Andie actually started out working in the office with her mom and learned many things from the way she worked.

Andie has been a Lead Dental Assistant for most of her career. She has worked for many specialists including oral surgeons and periodontists. She has extensive training in all facets of dentistry but especially enjoys the surgical and cosmetic side. As a science nerd, dentistry fascinates Andie and gives her a sense of accomplishment.

At LifeSmiles, she is our “Director of Details”. Andie is known for being a perfectionist because she likes to gather as much information as possible and go the extra mile to match Dr. Mitchmore’s high standards. She truly loves being part of our dedicated team of professionals who go above and beyond for our amazing patients.

Outside of the Office: Andie is addicted to Lagree fitness and loves to go off-shore fishing.

Your Hero: Her Mom. She is the most selfless person Andie knows.

John Copous
Chief Enthusiasm Officer

John became a new patient of LifeSmiles in 2008. He likes to tell people he was not allowed to leave. John worked down the street for 14 years before joining the team. He has a passion for meeting new people and extending genuine hospitality.

Often the first person people meet on the phone and when they walk in the door, you can count on John for a warm welcoming smile. You can even ‘hear’ it over the phone. He says, “I believe everyone deserves the red carpet treatment and love seeing other people smile.”

John hears stories every day how someone’s smile is holding them back. He can barely contain his excitement when shouting the praises of Dr. Mitchmore and the entire team. He shares passionate stories of how the transformations people have received at LifeSmiles, changed their lives.

Outside the Office: John loves being outside. He enjoys sharing a beach house with friends and family. He loves entertaining, throwing a party and cooking at home. He can start a conversation with anyone, anywhere. He’s an amateur stand-up comic.

Bucket List Item: To live in a foreign country for one year, somewhere near the beach. Take some time to write an epic love novel loosely based on my large Italian family.

Your Hero: “The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel”. While fictional, the character incorporates admirable qualities from real life people. She believes in the goodness of everyone, keeps on going and moves forward despite any obstacle. She is able to find humor in other people’s quirks, accepts them and makes sense of it all. Plus, she’s a little outrageous too.