Do I Need a Tooth Filling or Crown?

Do I Need a Tooth Filling or Crown Dentist Hudsonville, MI

Do I Need a Tooth Filling or Crown Dentist Hudsonville, MI

It’s never good to ignore or put off treatment for a toothache. If you’ve been feeling persistent tooth pain, you should schedule an appointment as soon as possible with our Hudsonville emergency dentists.

Depending on the extent of the decay or damage, our dentists may recommend either a tooth-colored filling or a dental crown. Because every patient is different and not all situations call for the same solution, we will only offer what’s going to benefit your oral health the most in the long run.

Here’s an overview of how the two restorations compare so you can know when either is needed. As always, don’t hesitate to call our Hudsonville office if you have specific questions regarding treatment.

How Do Crowns & Fillings Differ?

Both dental crowns and fillings are common restorative treatments, but they serve different purposes and are used in varying situations. While fillings are typically used to repair minor cavities and small-scale damage, crowns are often employed for more extensive dental work.

For Instance, a Dental Crown Can:

  • Treat more severe tooth decay, damage, or oral injuries
  • Cover and strengthen a tooth
  • Involve high-quality porcelain or ceramic materials
  • Require dental impressions to be taken
  • Hide stubborn tooth discoloration if desired

While Composite Resin Fillings:

  • Treat minor tooth decay or damage
  • Fill in holes in teeth after decay is removed
  • Involve tooth-colored resin material
  • Only target the affected area and don’t cover the entire tooth
  • Don’t require dental impressions beforehand

Understanding Dental Crowns

The only way to cure tooth decay is to drill out the cavity before it spreads. However, if the cavity is too big for a filling or you have a crack in the tooth that compromises its structural integrity, our dentists will recommend either a traditional porcelain crown or a same-day crown made from strong ceramic to strengthen the tooth.

Related PostMy Tooth Is Cracked: What Should I Do?

Thankfully, a dental crown covers the entire visible portion of your tooth above the gum line, lending necessary support. A crown also offers a cosmetic element as it can be made to match the color of your natural tooth enamel. Smiling with confidence is once again possible after the dental crown procedure.

How Long Do Crowns Last?

If taken care of each day, crowns can have a lifespan of up to 15 years on average. While this is typically longer than fillings, they do require that a small amount of tooth enamel be removed. Our dentists will sculpt away enough enamel so that the crown fits over your tooth comfortably but it is important to keep in mind that once enamel is gone, you can never get it back. The process is generally considered irreversible.

However, you’re much better off with a dental crown if your tooth has been made fragile by a large cavity or repeated dental procedures. A crown is built to last you for years to come.

When Would I Need a Crown?

As explained above, dental crowns are generally reserved for instances in which a tooth is more severely affected. This can be because of a significant cavity or dental trauma. Crowns can also be used to cover a dental implant or hold a dental bridge in place.

Situations that call for a dental crown include:

  • Protection is needed for a weak tooth to prevent decay or further breakage.
  • A broken or severely worn down tooth requires restoration.
  • Coverage and support are needed for a tooth with a large filling.
  • Completing a dental bridge or implant.
  • Covering irregularly shaped or severely discolored teeth.

Our dentists will be sure to discuss your specific needs with you one-on-one. If a crown is found to be the answer, we will make sure you are prepared and understand why it is recommended.

How Composite Resin Fillings Work

Cavities are caused by untreated dental plaque. If the cavity is small enough, our dentists will recommend you receive a filling. Unlike a crown, a filling doesn’t require that a sizable amount of tooth enamel be removed.

Instead, our dentists will only remove decayed tooth matter before filling the hole with tooth-colored composite resin. Many of our patients appreciate that a tooth filling is less invasive than a crown.

Read MoreCan a Cavity Go Away? Why Cavities Need to Be Treated ASAP

Since composite resin fillings match the color of your natural enamel, we recommend them for teeth that show when you smile and talk. During the procedure, our dentists will remove as little tooth enamel as possible to restore your smile. If your teeth are too badly decayed or damaged, our dentist will recommend dental crowns.

When Would I Need a Filling?

Fillings are primarily used to treat small to moderate cavities but they have other uses as well. Cracked or broken teeth, for instance, can be repaired using fillings.

Additionally, if your teeth have become worn due to excessive grinding or nail-biting, fillings can help. When you are seated in the chair, our dentists will use a small mirror to examine every tooth surface and determine if fillings are needed.

Discuss Your Options with Our Dentists Today

If you are unsure about what exactly you need, please don’t hesitate to reach out to our dental office. Our dentists in Hudsonville, MI, will be more than happy to examine your smile and determine the best treatment for you. To schedule an appointment for yourself or a family member, call Hudsonville Dental today at (616) 209-4024.

This blog post has been updated.