Dental Crowns vs. Dental Fillings
Very often, people don’t understand the difference between dental crowns and dental fillings, and when one type of dental treatment is used over the other. The main difference between dental crowns and dental fillings lies in the severity of the tooth decay or damage that needs to be repaired in the tooth. Dental fillings are used for relatively minor tooth decay resulting in cavities. Dental crowns, on the other hand, are reserved for instances where tooth decay is more severe, requiring more than just a simple dental filling, or when other damage has occurred to a tooth.
Both dental fillings and dental crowns are designed to preserve the health of an already decayed or damaged tooth. If left untreated, even minor tooth decay can turn into a more severe problem. But, by addressing the decay with dental fillings, or dental crowns if necessary, the decay can usually be halted and the remaining portion of the healthy tooth can be preserved.
To get a better understanding of when you might need a dental filling vs. a dental crown, here is an explanation of the differences:
- Dental fillings – Dental fillings are designed to repair teeth with minor tooth decay in the form of cavities. Cavities are caused by plaque and bacteria eating their way through the exterior surface of the tooth, resulting in decay. When this occurs, the decayed portion of the tooth needs to be removed and the space filled and firmly sealed using a dental filling. Dental fillings involve the use of a metal amalgam or special tooth-colored composite material that takes the place of decayed tooth material that is first removed using a dental drill.
- Dental crowns – If decay is more severe than a dental filling can help, or if a tooth is damaged, chipped or broken, then a dental crown can fix the damage. Dental crowns are like caps, or covers, that sit over a portion of the existing tooth to protect it from further harm or deterioration. Crowns make the tooth look whole again and provide a strong, surface for chewing. Dental crowns are customized to fit perfectly over any individual tooth based on a customized mold that is taken of the mouth.
Both dental fillings and dental crowns can address varying levels of tooth decay. Crowns can also address other damage to teeth, such as chipping, cracking or breaking. The key to avoiding the need for dental fillings or crowns is to maintain impeccable dental hygiene on a regular basis. Even so, you may find the need for one of these dental treatments.
At Park Dental Care, we offer dental fillings and dental crowns, along with a number of other restorative and cosmetic dental options, at our Queens family dental practice. Whether you are experiencing minor tooth decay in the form of a cavity or are struggling with more extensive tooth damage, our dentists can repair your teeth with dental fillings or dental crowns in our NY dental office. Contact us today at 718-274-1515 to discuss your dental filling or dental crown needs.