Differences Between Tooth Crowns and Fillings

While dental crowns and fillings are both used to restore teeth, our Rockford dentist at Scott Strickland DDS may decide that one is more appropriate for your smile. We understand that our patients want to feel informed when seeking dental care, which is why we explain the pros and cons of crowns and fillings below.

In general, dental fillings are used to restore teeth with minor damage while crowns restore major damage.

Quick Comparison


Crowns

  • Covers decayed teeth
  • Treats severe damage or decay
  • 2 appointments
  • Dental impressions are needed

Fillings

  • Fills in decayed teeth
  • Treats minor damage or decay
  • 1 appointment
  • No dental impressions needed

When to Choose a Dental Crown

A dental crown (sometimes called a “tooth cap” by our patients) covers the entire visible portion of your tooth above the gum line. Your dentist may recommend a porcelain crown for a tooth made fragile from a root canal or repeated dental procedures. Your dentist may also recommend a tooth crown if they discover a cavity that’s too big for a filling. Dental crowns help protect your tooth enamel from further damage and sensitivity.

The dental crown procedure takes two appointments. During your first dentist appointment, your dentist will remove enough enamel so the crown won’t appear bulky. Next, your dentist will take dental impressions to send to the lab where your crown will be made. To protect your tooth in the meantime, your dentist will place a temporary crown.

When you come back for your second appointment, your crown will be ready. After checking the size, color, and shape of the crown, your dentist will replace the temporary crown with the permanent tooth restoration. If you practice good oral hygiene, there’s no reason why your dental crown can’t last for years to come.

When to Choose a Cavity Filling

Fillings let you keep more natural tooth enamel than crowns. During your appointment, your dentist will remove decayed tooth matter and fill the hole with amalgam or composite resin. For front teeth that show when you smile or talk, your dentist may recommend composite dental fillings. Unlike silver fillings, these white filings match the color of your tooth enamel. Silver amalgam fillings, on the other hand, are durable enough to be used on back teeth and are typically covered by insurance.

If you have a toothache, call your emergency dentist as soon as possible. The longer you ignore tooth pain, the less chance your dentist will be able to restore your tooth with a simple filling. Unlike dental crowns, cavity fillings take one appointment.

Many of our patients appreciate that tooth fillings are less invasive than crowns. Your dentist will only remove decayed tooth matter before restoring your tooth with a dental filling. Dental crowns, on the other hand, require your dentist to remove enough healthy enamel so the crown won’t make your tooth look bulky.

Scott Strickland DDS is dedicated to helping you maintain good oral health with dental crowns, fillings, and other restorative dentistry services. To schedule an appointment with our dentist in Rockford MI, call (616) 866-1017.