Do I Need a Crown or a Filling?

Dental crowns and fillings are both excellent solutions for restoring stability and preserving damaged teeth. But some people are still confused about the difference between the two procedures. If you’re unsure whether you need a crown or a filling to reclaim your beautiful smile, read on to find out when each treatment is best suited to address a dental issue.


It Depends on the Severity

Your dentist will determine whether you need a crown or a filling, depending on how severe the damage your tooth has sustained is. Dental fillings are generally used to repair minor tooth decay caused by cavities. On the other hand, dental crowns are usually more suitable for when the damage is more severe. They’re an excellent fix for cracked, chipped, or broken teeth.


When Do You Need a Crown?

Dental crowns are a better option if you’re dealing with a critically damaged tooth. A dental filling will not be adequate to properly restore the tooth if it has severely sustained a lot of damage. That’s why your dentist will most definitely use a crown for the job instead of a filling. But getting a crown means that your dentist will have to remove more tooth structures. It’s generally more expensive, and the procedure is completed in two dental visits.


What to Expect

Dental crowns are prosthetic devices. They’re like caps that your dentist will cement onto your damaged teeth. They cover severely decayed or fractured teeth and protect them from sensitivity or further damage. Crowns are custom-made to fit your teeth. Nowadays, they’re usually made from ceramic or porcelain fused to metal. Some clinics also offer crowns made from resin or gold. Crowns are durable and natural-looking.


To place a crown, your dentist will start by filing the tooth down. They will remove any decay or old dental fillings, then make a mold of the area. This way, your new crown will fit perfectly. Your dentist will likely fill the space with a temporary crown over it. It usually takes several days for the laboratory to fabricate your custom-fit crown. Once ready, you will come back for your second appointment to have your dentist replace your temporary crown with the permanent one. They will then seal it into place.


When Will a Filling Be More Suitable?

If you only have minor decay, getting a dental filling for the small cavity in your tooth would make more sense. During the procedure, your dentist will drill your affected tooth to remove the decayed matter. Then, they will fill in the tooth with composite resin. Unlike a dental crown, getting a dental filling can be completed in just a single visit. Besides, the process itself is pretty straightforward. So, the cost of getting dental fillings is also a lot less than dental crowns.


Both dental crowns and fillings can address various levels of tooth decay and damage. While a large cavity or fractured tooth would benefit from a crown, other situations may not be very clear. It’s best to discuss your concerns with professionals in the Clarity Dental Center for Implant and Family Dentistry. Call our office now in Federal Way, Washington at (253) 799-1490 to schedule your consultation.

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