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Crown vs. Filling: What’s the Difference?

Posted on July 30th, 2021 by Dr. Nikoo Daftary

If you’re having a problem with one of your teeth, it can be hard to figure out what kind of treatment is necessary. After all, there are many kinds of restorative dental options out there. Crowns and fillings are two of the most common ways to stop tooth decay, and learning the key differences between them will help you narrow down which one is right for you.

What are Crowns?

A crown is a prosthetic tooth, usually made out of ceramic or porcelain, that is placed on top of your existing tooth. A crown is placed on a tooth that is significantly damaged to prevent further decay. Crowns look like real teeth, and they can make speaking and chewing significantly easier.

How Much Tooth is Needed for a Crown?

Crowns are designed to be used on teeth with extensive damage, but in some cases, the amount of tooth damage may be too excessive. For a crown to work properly, there needs to be at least ¼ of the tooth remaining that hasn’t been affected by decay.

If there is not enough tooth material left to provide support, your dentist may suggest using composite resin. Composite resin is a material that can be applied in thin layers to build up the remaining tooth structure. Once these layers harden, the dentist can place a crown as normal.

What are Fillings?

Fillings are made out of dental materials such as silver, porcelain, and composite resin. They are inserted into small holes that form in your teeth due to decay. Properly installed fillings can last many years and will stop decay from eating away at your teeth.

Crowns vs. Fillings: Which One Do I Need?

Fillings are used for teeth that have minimal damage while crowns are used for more extensive tooth decay. A crown fits on top of a damaged tooth, while a filling sits inside the tooth itself.

When you get a crown, the dentist simply places the prosthetic over your natural tooth. For a cavity, the dentist scrapes away the decayed area with a special tool before filling in the hole.

If you suspect you have tooth decay, it’s important to see your dentist as soon as possible to prevent things from getting worse. After a certain point, damage or decay can start to affect the integrity of your tooth, making more intensive procedures necessary. At your appointment, your dentist will examine your tooth and determine whether a crown or filling is the better option.

Crowns & Dental Fillings in Chicago

The dentists at Art of Modern Dentistry are prepared to make your visit as easy and comfortable as possible. We understand that many people struggle with the idea of going to the dentist. That’s why we’ve outlined what you can expect from your first appointment.

In addition to restorative dentistry, we offer teeth cleanings and cosmetic dentistry in Chicago. Schedule an appointment at our South Loop or Lakeview office today!

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