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What’s the difference between a filling and a crown? While both are used to restore damaged teeth, fillings are less invasive than crowns. This is because a filling only restores a small area of your tooth.
Dental crowns restore teeth that are badly decayed or cracked. Either way, our dentist will be able to determine the right treatment for you.
Crowns vs. Fillings
- Treats severely damaged or decayed tooth
- More expensive
- Completed in 2 dental visits
- Covers decayed teeth
- Requires impressions
- Treats minor tooth damage or decay
- More affordable
- Completed in 1 dental visit
- Fills in decayed teeth
- No impressions
When is a Crown Needed Instead of a Filling?
Dental crowns are best suited for severely damaged and weakened teeth, though they can be used for minor damage as well. In cases where the tooth has a lot of damage, a dental filling would not be enough to properly restore the tooth. Instead, a crown would be used for the job.
Ceramic crowns are white, tooth-shaped caps that cover decayed or cracked teeth. They protect the tooth from experiencing any further damage and sensitivity. Crowns are much more durable than fillings, but they also require us to remove more tooth structure. Of course, this may not be as much of an issue if most of your tooth structure is damaged or decayed.
When Should I Get a Filling?
Dental fillings are meant for teeth that have minor decay. So if you only have a small cavity in your tooth, getting a filling would make the most sense. Our dentist does everything he can to detect cavities in their early stages. That way, he’ll be able to restore your teeth in a way that’s as minimally invasive as possible.
During the procedure, our dentist will drill to remove any decayed tooth matter and then fill in the tooth with composite resin. Unlike crowns, fillings only take one visit to complete. Since the process is not as involved, the cost of composite fillings is also significantly less than that of dental crowns.
Since composite fillings are less expensive and invasive, you may assume that they’re always the better choice. Yet, it really depends on the condition of your tooth. If your tooth has been weakened by injury or decay, adding a filling won’t restore its strength. Instead, a large filling will make the tooth more vulnerable to cracking. In this situation, you would need a dental crown to cover the entire visible portion of your tooth above the gum line.
As you can see, there really isn’t a clear-cut winner when it comes to fillings and crowns. Each dental treatment has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It all comes down to your specific situation and how much time and money you’re willing to spend. Our dentist will recommend the best solution for your smile so you can regain your oral health.