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Comparing Dental Restorations: Fillings vs. Crowns

Dr. Hellwig Jul 25, 2016

Dental restorationsThe people of San Diego know that they can count on us for excellent dental treatment. Not only do we offer many popular cosmetic procedures, we also offer advanced restorative dentistry services that can help you smile with total confidence again.

Some patients who come to the practice wonder if they'll need a filling or a crown for the particular dental problem they're face. Let's take a moment to compare these two types of restorations right now.

The Role of Dental Restorations

Dental restorations refer to various kinds of treatments that are used to rebuild tooth structure that has been compromised or harmed as a result on injury or decay. These restorations come in many forms to address varying degrees of damage.

With that in mind, dental fillings and dental crowns represent different ends of a spectrum, as you are about to read.

About Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are a type of restoration that is used to address small amount of tooth decay and tooth injury. These are some of the most common kinds of dental restorations. Chances are that you have a filling or two right now.

Metal and Tooth-Colored Fillings

Dental fillings come in both tooth-colored and metal forms. The tooth-colored fillings are great when decay is on one of the more prominent teeth, which is excellent from a cosmetic perspective. Metal fillings are better for molars and pre-molars since they are a bit more durable and more ideal for the job that molars do.

About Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are used for major tooth decay and injury. These restorations cap a seriously harmed tooth. In the process, the dental crown will strengthen the tooth structure and prevent issues with pain and sensitivity. In many cases, dental crowns are a last resort to save a seriously damaged tooth from extraction.

Different Types of Dental Crowns

As with dental fillings, dental crowns are made from different materials. Broadly, there are tooth-colored and metal dental crowns. Some of the tooth-colored crowns are made from ceramic and porcelain materials while others have a metal core with a porcelain outer layer. Like fillings, tooth-colored crowns are generally better for more prominent teeth while metal crowns are better for molars.

When Dental Fillings May be More Ideal

Dental fillings are generally best when cavities and tooth damage are caught early. This involves minimal restoration in order to achieve optimal results. Less invasive tends to be ideal since the more natural structure that can be retained, the better it is for overall dental health.

When Dental Crowns May be More Ideal

As you can imagine, crowns are more ideal when a tooth is severely damaged or decayed. In such cases, a filling is not even considered a viable restoration option.

Other Kinds of Dental Restorations

When neither a filling nor a crown are best for treatment, it may be a good option to consider the use of inlays or onlays. These kinds of restorations are great for major tooth decay and tooth injury. Inlays and onlays are able to replace the biting surfaces (cusps) of teeth if need be. Metal and tooth-colored inlays and onlays are available depending on the needs of patients.

The ideal restoration type can be determined during your visit to the practice. We can assess your situation and discuss treatment options when you are here in person.

Learn More About Dental Fillings and Crowns

For more information about dental fillings, crowns, and other restorations and how they can improve your dental health, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. We will develop a custom treatment to address your dental health problem.

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