How to tell if you need a Crown or a Filling
When it comes time to repair damaged or decayed teeth, your Louisville dentist is most likely to opt for either a crown or a filling. While your dentist makes this decision, as a patient, it’s important to know the difference between a crown and a filling. We explore this topic in further detail, today on the blog.
The differences between crowns and fillings
A filling is the most common treatment option in restorative dentistry. Fillings repair cavities and areas of decay that are small to intermediate in size. Your dentist removes the decay, thoroughly cleans the tooth and places the filling to restore the shape and function of the tooth. Exceptional Dentistry works with composite fillings that can be matched to the shade of your natural healthy teeth. The placement of a composite filling is less invasive compared to the installation of a traditional “metallic” filling made of amalgam. Composite fillings also are less susceptible to breakage and will not react to temperature changes in the mouth when you eat and drink.
A crown replaces the entire exterior of the tooth being treated. Usually, a tooth that receives a crown has sustained more significant damage – either an area of decay that is too large to treat with a cavity or structural issues such as cracks, fractures or breaks. Whereas a filling can be completed in a single appointment, a crown usually entails two visits: one to obtain impressions of the tooth and apply a temporary restoration, and a second approximately two weeks later to have your permanent crown installed. At Exceptional Dentistry, we work with crowns made entirely of ceramic.
How to determine whether to use a crown or filling
Your dentist considers an assortment of factors to decide if a crown or a filling is the best treatment option. These factors include:
- The size of the cavity – Once a cavity forms, it can grow and further damage the tooth without proper identification and treatment. Fillings can repair most cavities. However, if a cavity has expanded to impact a significant portion of the tooth structure, then a crown is probably the better choice.
- The condition of a tooth – Does the tooth already have a filling, or perhaps multiple fillings? Every time a filling is placed on a tooth, that filling will replace part of the natural tooth structure. The more fillings a tooth has, the weaker the tooth becomes. A weak tooth is more susceptible to breakage during routine activities such as biting or chewing.
- Cracks, fractures or breaks – A crown is your best choice here. Fillings are made to fill small holes in the structure of teeth. A crown replaces the compromised exterior with a brand-new exterior, preventing additional damage and eliminating the chance of infection.
- A discolored or misshapen tooth – Sometimes a tooth does not have the desired shape or it has areas of discoloration that are resistant to teeth whitening. A crown is the better treatment choice here because, when installed by an experienced cosmetic dentist, a crown looks exactly like one of your other existing teeth in terms of color, size and shape.
Restorative dentistry in Shepherdsville and Louisville, Kentucky, and Jeffersonville, Indiana
Are you in need of a crown, a filling or still unsure about which treatment option is right for you? The team at Exceptional Dentistry has the answers that you seek. We offer top-quality dental care at each of our three locations in the Kentuckiana region. Schedule your consultation today by calling (502) 423-7868 or contact us online.
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