Should I go for a filling or a crown?

When it comes to modern procedures available today for restoring the shape, size, strength, and appearance of our teeth, most of us automatically think of a filling.

But a dental filling may not be the best option. There is the crown, which offers greater protection and utility, but is often thought of as more complex procedure.

Your dentist will be able to give expert advice but it pays to arm yourself with some knowledge before deciding which is best for your smile.

The first step is to understand the differences…

The big tooth repairs

The main reason people seek tooth repair is because their teeth develop cavities or become chipped and damaged. Each procedure – fillings or crowns  – is designed to solve these problems.

A dental filling is where a tooth is enhanced by injecting, moulding or attaching a supporting structure. This can be made from a wide range of materials including ceramics, resins and even metals that either fill the cavity or cover the damaged area.

A dental crown is where a chipped or damaged tooth is covered by a structure that creates a better cosmetic look as well as a new, stronger surface that supports chewing and other activities. It is like a “cap” which can cover all surfaces of the tooth.

Advantages and disadvantages

The advantage of a dental filling is that it’s easy to do and cost effective. The disadvantage is that a filling does not necessarily strengthen the tooth and in some cases can even place it at greater risk of further damage.

With dental crowns, these procedures can be very expensive and time consuming. However, both offer long-term cosmetic looks and functional strength.

Choosing the best procedure

Determining which dental procedure is the best fit for restoring your smile really comes down to the size of the problem. The goal is to restore the look of the tooth and ensure it can withstand the forces involved in everyday mouth activities like chewing food.

Dental fillings are best suited to small cavities, cracks and gaps. Larger problems need bigger solutions – such as crowns. These dental procedures offer greater strength to the affected tooth and can ensure that it’s protected over a much longer period of time.

So if you need to have a tooth repaired, remember there are more options than just having a filling.

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