Dental Crown or Dental Filling: Which Kind Do You Need?

August 3, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — platinumdental @ 6:41 pm

a dental crown

Cavities, cracked teeth, and serious infections are all reasons your dentist will recommend restorative dental care. Because dental crowns and dental fillings are two of the most common solutions available, there is a good chance you’ll walk away with one or the other. But how can you know if you need a dental crown or filling? The only way to know which one is ideal for you is to meet with your dentist and discuss your options. To start, though, you can keep reading to learn more about their differences and which option works best in certain situations.

What is the Difference Between a Dental Crown & a Dental Filling?

When learning that your dentist is recommending a dental crown or filling to repair your damaged or decayed smile, you may wonder what makes these two solutions different. Their ultimate goal is to protect your tooth, but there are a few key differences between them:

Dental Crowns

Often made from various materials such as zirconia, porcelain, EMAX, gold, ceramic, or porcelain-fused-to-metal, dental crowns are customized restorations that fit over the existing natural tooth. When targeted by bad bacteria or facial trauma, a severely infected or broken tooth can be repaired with this type of treatment.

An impression is taken of your tooth and sent to a dental lab, where technicians build a crown based on the size, shape, and shade of your tooth (if opting for a metal-free material). When placed over the tooth, once it has been cleaned, it is bonded into place so that reinfection does not occur.

Dental Fillings

Unlike dental crowns that cover the entire tooth, dental fillings only address the small portion of the tooth that once contained a cavity. When these small holes form in the enamel layer, it’s essential to have a filling put into place.

In the past, traditional amalgam was the primary material that was used; however, now that people care more about their appearance, and more research states that amalgam is not the safest option, composite resin is what we now use. More malleable than metal, this allows you to keep more of your natural tooth structure intact and lowers your chances of possible expansion, which can damage the tooth over time. And because it can be shaded to match your existing smile, others will never know it is there.

Which One is Right for Me?

Your dentist is the only one who can decide if you need a dental crown or dental filling. Typically, if a cavity exists and it does not penetrate beyond the enamel, a filling is the best option. If decay extends further down into the tooth or severe trauma results in a broken or cracked tooth, a dental crown will likely be chosen.

No matter which one you need, you can expect to walk away with a healthier smile that looks beautiful and allows you to resume daily eating, speaking, and smiling with ease.

About the Author
Dr. Ben Omrani is a trusted dentist in San Juan Capistrano who cares about patients and the future of their smiles. Offering restorative dental services as part of his comprehensive solutions, he and his team can address dental decay, infection, and facial trauma with the help of dental crowns and fillings. Based on a scheduled appointment and the findings from diagnostic imaging, he can create a treatment plan that promises healthy, long-lasting results. Contact us at (949) 661-2052 to discover how we can help you.

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