When you have tooth decay, Dental Express in San Diego, CA can help you decide if a crown or a filling is the best treatment. Understanding the differences between a crown vs. fillings is important when making an informed decision for your oral health. Our dental professionals can determine if the reasons for a crown are present or if a filling is all that is needed after a dental exam.
Fillings are used to restore teeth with small amounts of damage. We first remove the decayed portion of the tooth and then clean it thoroughly. Next, we fill it with a composite resin that looks like a natural tooth. When these holes are closed off, it helps to prevent bacteria from entering the tooth and from further tooth decay developing. At Dental Express in San Diego, CA, we offer tooth-colored fillings that match the natural color of your teeth. More serious cavities require a dental crown.
Crowns are caps that fit over a tooth. They are most often used when a tooth has severe decay. The crown’s material is chosen based on where the tooth being restored is located. Porcelain fused to metal is stronger, so it’s better for teeth in the back while ceramic or porcelain is used for front teeth since they match their shape better.
There are many reasons for a crown, including:
To restore broken or worn-down teeth
To protect a weak tooth with decay from breaking further or to help hold a cracked tooth together
To cover discolored or stained teeth
To cover a tooth with a large filling that doesn’t have much structure remaining
To make cosmetic improvements
During the crown process, the area being treated is numbed, and any decayed or damaged portions are removed. The crown can be built up later to match the height of the teeth adjacent to it, if necessary. Impressions are made of the tooth to custom create a restoration. The lab can also color match a crown so that it blends in seamlessly with the rest of the natural teeth. A temporary is placed until the permanent one is ready. When the crown is finished, the temporary is removed, and the final crown is cemented into its place. We can adjust the fit, so the bite is correct at this time.
Is a crown permanent?
No, crowns aren’t always permanent. However, with proper care, it can last a long time. For a crown to last, the crown must be properly fitted. Bacteria buildup can lead to tooth decay. The goal is to protect the tooth, so our dental professionals at Dental Express take great care to make sure that your crown fits properly. An efficient at-home oral hygiene routine of brushing twice a day and flossing daily helps provide longevity too, as they can last 10 – 15 years.
Differences between crown vs. fillings
One of the biggest differences between crowns vs. fillings is that one protects more efficiently. Since a crown entirely encases the tooth, it strengthens teeth better than a filling because they reinforce it. A crown can, usually, withstand force without any risk of damage. However, fillings don’t provide this same protection.
When should I choose a filling?
Patients who visit Dental Express in San Diego, CA who only need minor improvements can choose fillings. They bond the teeth and make them look better. They are best for those looking to maintain as much of their natural tooth structure as possible. They help seal a tooth off more efficiently than other solutions too.
Learn whether crowns vs. fillings are the best restorative dentistry option
At Dental Express in San Diego, CA, we are committed to helping our patients decide if crowns or fillings will work best for their oral health. We offer comprehensive dental examinations that can detect dental problems, such as tooth decay and gum disease, early on. Both crowns and fillings can help restore your smile. Call today to schedule a dental exam today at our office.