When Is a Crown Needed Versus a Dental Filling?

Posted by Dr. Panchal on Apr 2 2020, 06:38 AM

If you have a cavity, you may need a dental filling. However, you might be wondering what the difference is between a dental filling and a crown. When your dentist is explaining the procedure to you, it can often be easier to just nod along. However, it is important for you to actually understand what each one is. Keep reading to learn more about each of them.

Why a tooth may need to be restored

First, it is a good idea to understand why a patient may need a filling or a crown. Tooth decay happens because the acid from bacteria or food wears down the tooth enamel. This can create a hole where the bacteria can enter the patient’s tooth. If untreated, the decay will only worsen.

This can be extremely painful for patients. It is often expensive to treat. The good news is that fillings and crowns are simple treatments. These can prevent more decay in the teeth.

What is a dental filling?

A filling can replace the decayed interior of the tooth after a patient has a cavity. The dentist can remove the decayed portion of the tooth. Then the dentist can clean out the bacteria from the hole. A dental filling will be placed in the empty portion. The tooth will then be functional once again. The structure will be strong enough to prevent more tooth decay.

There are several materials that might be used in a dental filling. Patients may have silver amalgam, gold or tooth-colored composite resin. These materials are all strong. The type of material used will depend on the type of tooth and the damage. A filling will be used when the patient has only a small amount of damage to the tooth.

What is a dental crown?

A crown is a sort of cap for the tooth. This is needed when there is more extensive decay in the tooth. If the tooth is broken or chipped, a crown may also be used. The crown can cover a tooth that is misshapen or unattractive. The crown will go over the entire visible portion of the tooth.

A patient will have an impression taken of the tooth after it has been prepared. This can be done with either a physical tray or digitally. Then the crown will be created to fit the patient’s tooth. From the outside, it will appear to be a normal shape. The crown can be made from ceramics, metal alloys, composite resin, or multiple types of materials.

Visit a dentist today

Remember that whichever restoration you have, it may need to be replaced after several years. Your dentist will help you choose the right treatment for your situation. Factors, such as your health and the extent of the decay, will determine which one you have. Keeping up with your brushing and flossing can help prevent decay. Regular visits to your dentist can also help prevent cavities in your teeth.

Request an appointment here: or call Rushi Panchal DDS at (559) 426-1124 for an appointment in our Hanford office.

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