Dental Filling vs. Crown: Which is Right For Me?

When a tooth begins to decay, a cavity—a hole or hollow space within the tooth—can develop. Cavities are a fairly common occurrence in both children and adults, but it is important to get them treated quickly, as tooth decay can spread, causing greater damage, infection, pain, and eventual tooth loss. Fortunately, our Coronado and Imperial Beach dentist, Jason Keckley, DMD, offers a variety of restorative options that can effectively treat decay and preserve tooth structure, including dental fillings and crowns. So, which option is optimally suited to your needs?

Tooth-colored fillings are one of the most common and conservative options for treating tooth decay. Once your dentist has removed the damaged parts of the tooth and cleaned away any remaining bacteria, the tooth is “filled” with a composite resin that is designed to strengthen and reinforce the damaged structure. With proper care and good oral hygiene, a filling can last for years, and advances in dental technology have made it so that they are more discreet than ever. Indeed, the tooth-colored resin used here at Coronado Classic Dentistry often allows even fillings on the front teeth to blend in naturally with the rest of a patient’s smile. However, dental fillings are most effective when used to treat mild or moderately sized cavities, and they are not typically a viable solution for repairing cracked or chipped teeth.

Dental crowns can offer both a restorative and cosmetic dentistry solution for a variety of concerns. Porcelain crowns are designed to act as tooth “caps,” covering the entirety of the existing tooth body. This enables them to provide more comprehensive support to the tooth structure while also restoring a more cosmetically pleasing appearance. Coronado Classic Dentistry offers CEREC® same day crowns, which are created on-site during your dental appointment for greater convenience and efficiency. Dr. Jason Keckley will carefully match the shape and shade of the crown to your existing teeth so that the restoration looks and feels as natural as possible.

When treating cavities, crowns are often used in cases where a filling alone may prove insufficient, such as when tooth decay has caused more severe levels of structural damage. Other uses for porcelain dental crowns include:

  • Providing structural support for cracked or damaged teeth
  • Covering a worn, misshapen, or discolored tooth
  • Protecting the remaining tooth body after root canal therapy
  • Securing another restorative solution—such as a dental bridge—in place
  • Topping a dental implant for an aesthetically pleasing solution to tooth loss

Ultimately, both dental fillings and porcelain crowns can provide an effective treatment option for tooth decay and cavities. Your dentist can help decide which option is best suited to your unique needs during your dental visit. If you would like to learn more about any of the procedures mentioned above, or if you are interested in scheduling an appointment with Dr. Keckley, please contact Coronado Classic Dentistry today!

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