Don\u2019t ignore a toothache. If you\u2019ve been feeling persistent tooth pain, you should schedule an appointment with your emergency dentist.\r\n\r\nDepending on the extent of tooth decay, your dentist may recommend either a cavity filling or dental crown.\r\n\r\nContinue reading to learn the differences between these dental services so you can make an informed decision regarding your oral health. For more information, find a dentist near you.\r\n\r\nDental Crown\r\n\r\n\r\n \tTreats severe tooth decay or damage\r\n \tCovers and strengthens tooth\r\n \tRequires dental impressions\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nCavity Filling\r\n\r\n\r\n \tTreats minor tooth decay or damage\r\n \tFills in tooth\r\n \tNo dental impressions needed\r\n\r\n\r\n\r\nDental Crown\r\nThe only way to cure tooth decay is to drill out the cavity before it spreads. If the cavity is too big for a filling, your dentist will recommend a porcelain crown to strengthen the tooth. Whether your dentist recommends a filling or crown will depend on the extent of tooth decay.\r\n\r\nOnce a cavity reaches a certain size, your dentist won\u2019t be able to drill out the decayed tooth matter without compromising the structural integrity of your tooth. Thankfully, a dental crown covers the entire visible portion of your tooth above the gum line, restoring its natural strength. A porcelain crown also matches the color of your natural tooth enamel so you can smile with confidence.\r\n\r\nWhile crowns typically last longer than fillings, they do require your dentist to remove tooth enamel. Your dentist will remove enough enamel so the crown fits over your tooth. Once tooth enamel is removed you can never get it back. However, you\u2019re much better off with a dental crown if your tooth has been made fragile by a large cavity or repeated dental procedures. A tooth crown will last you for years to come.\r\nCavity Filling\r\nCavities are caused by untreated dental plaque. If the cavity is small enough, your dentist will recommend you get a filling. Unlike a crown, a dental filling doesn\u2019t require your dentist remove tooth enamel. Instead, your dentist will only remove decayed tooth matter before filling the hole with composite resin or amalgam. Many of our patients appreciate that a tooth filling is less invasive than a crown.\r\n\r\nSince composite fillings match the color of your natural enamel, we recommend them for teeth that show when you smile and talk. During the procedure, your dentist will remove as little tooth enamel as possible to restore your smile. If your teeth are too badly decayed or damaged, your dentist will recommend dental crowns.\r\n\r\nIf you are unsure whether you need a tooth filling or crown, call our dental office. Our dentists will be more than happy to examine your smile and determine the best treatment. The best way to maintain a healthy smile is to never ignore severe tooth pain. Dental pain is your body\u2019s way of telling you something is wrong.\r\n\r\nOur Hudsonville dentists are dedicated to helping you maintain good oral health by providing fillings, crowns, dental implants, veneers, and other services. To schedule your appointment for emergency dental care, call (616) 209-4024.