Dental Fillings or Dental Crowns: Which Treatment Is Right for Me?
By Andrew Mortensen, DDS on May 31, 2016
Tooth decay and dental damage can make eating. You don't have to let dental damage stand in your way. Dr. Andrew G. Mortensen offers a variety of restorative dentistry treatments, including dental fillings and dental crowns, to treat dental damage and restore the smile's health and beauty. Both dental fillings and dental crowns are great options for restoring dental health and function, but which is right for your needs? To learn more about dental fillings versus dental crowns, schedule a consultation at Dr. Mortensen's Fountain Valley, CA practice.
Dental fillings are used to treat dental cavities and decay. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to painful root canal infections and tooth loss. Dental fillings are necessary to prevent further decay and restore dental health.
Dental fillings are made of either metal, including gold and silver amalgam, or a tooth-colored material, called composite resin. Regardless of the material used, dental filling treatment includes the removal of decayed areas of the teeth and a thorough cleaning.
For placement of metal fillings, healthy areas of the tooth must also be removed in order to accommodate the filling, which can weaken the tooth's structure. Tooth-colored fillings avoid this problem because they are bonded directly to the tooth, restoring dental strength and appearance.
Like dental fillings, dental crowns may also be used to treat tooth decay. However, dental crowns are used when decay is too severe for treatment with dental fillings. Dental crowns may also be used to treat other forms of dental damage, like cracks and fractures, as well as correct cosmetic issues, like tooth shape, color, and size.
Unlike dental fillings, dental crowns completely encase a damaged tooth. Each dental crown is custom-made from impressions taken of the treated tooth and typically requires two dental visits to complete treatment.
During the first dental visit, the tooth is prepared by removing any areas of decay. Next, an impression is made. A temporary crown is then placed and the impression is sent to a dental lab for the custom crown to be crafted. Once the crown is finished, a second appointment is required to remove the temporary crown and bond the new crown in place to complete treatment.
Choosing the Right Treatment
Both dental fillings and dental crowns can be used to repair dental damage, so how do dentists determine which treatment is most appropriate for each patient? In order to determine the best treatment, a thorough dental examination will be performed and the extent of damage will be assessed.
Generally, dental fillings are used when decay is mild to moderate and the tooth is still healthy enough to support a dental filling. Dental crowns are typically used when damage is too severe for treatment with a dental filling. A crown may also be used to restore dental strength when large fillings are required or root canal therapy was performed. Unlike dental fillings, dental crowns may also be used for cosmetic purposes. Crowns can be placed to correct dental imperfections, like shape or size, to create a beautiful, flawless smile.
Which Treatment Is Right for You?
If you suffer from tooth decay or dental damage, you may benefit from dental crowns or dental fillings. To find out which treatment is right for you, we welcome you to schedule a consultation with Dr. Mortensen.
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“I am proud to have served patients in our community. Through continuing education and state-of-the-art equipment, we are able to offer you and your family the high level of care you're looking for.” Andrew G. Mortensen, D.D.S.