Sometimes teeth get cavities, especially if you eat a lot of sugary foods or don’t brush enough. When this happens, dentists often have two options to deal with tooth decay: fillings and crowns.
Fillings are most commonly used because they can quickly and easily fix minor decay. Tooth fillings are minimally invasive. Your dentist will only remove the decayed tooth matter and then fill the hole with composite resin or amalgam, which is a mixture of metals. Dental fillings can last roughly five years.
There are situations, though, when your dentist may recommend a crown instead. Crowns are used when the damage to the tooth is so severe that fillings can’t solve the problem. They are placed on top of damaged teeth, like a cap. They may be made out of porcelain, ceramic, resin, or metal.
One of the benefits of crowns is that they typically last longer than fillings. However, they do require the removal of tooth enamel so that the crown can properly fit over your tooth. The downside is that once tooth enamel is removed, it never grows back.
So you may wonder when you would need a crown instead of a filling. See what factors are considered in the dentist’s decision.
What Factors Into the Decision?
There are several things your dentist will consider when making the decision to use either a filling or crown:
- Size of the cavity. If you visit your dentist regularly, then most decay should be caught before it gets too bad. However, if you haven’t gone to the dentist in a while, then you may have a large cavity on your hands. If the decay is affecting a large portion of the tooth, then a crown would be the better choice.
- Condition of the tooth. Your dentist will assess the tooth’s condition. If it has been grinded down or is weakened due to past fillings, then a crown will likely be used to protect the integrity of the tooth.
- The tooth is cracked or broken. A filling cannot help a tooth that has cracks or chips. A crown is the better option in this case because it looks like a natural tooth. It will protect the tooth from further damage and even infection.
- There is infection. If an infection is present, the core of the tooth will need to be removed via a root canal. This makes the tooth hollow, which in turn makes it very weak. No filling can save an infected tooth. Instead of extracting the tooth, your dentist can place a crown on it to protect it.
Contact Us Today
Whether you need a filling, crown, or other dental procedure, you can trust the team at Suncreek Dental Group to give you the care you need. We focus on high standards and a positive experience for each and every patient. Schedule an appointment today and we’ll give you a reason to smile. Contact us by filling out the online form or calling (303) 933-2522.