There are times when a tooth has considerable damage or decay and restoration is needed. Restoring a damaged tooth comes down to using a filling or a crown.
- A filling is a good choice for smaller areas of decay. After the decayed tooth material is removed, composite material or tooth-colored resin is used to fill the hole or crack.
- A crown is a porcelain shell for your damaged tooth that is made to match the color and look of other teeth. A crown is placed directly over the decayed or broken tooth.
Whether you need a filling or a crown depends on several factors that we’ll discuss together:
How much of the tooth structure is left?
If the tooth is severely cracked or the decay is too large for a filling, a crown is the best option.
Did the tooth have a root canal?
Teeth in the back of the mouth that have had (or need to have) a root canal are good candidates for crowns to restore the look and function of the tooth.
Do you grind or clench your teeth?
For patients that tend to clench or grind their teeth, including those that grind during sleep, tend to require a crown, which will provide longer-lasting restoration of the damaged tooth.
Are there already many fillings in the mouth?
It’s important to consider longer-term planning when it comes to tooth restoration. Overall oral health that is susceptible to decay, and where many tooth fillings are already in place, may warrant a crown.
Fillings are efficiently used to repair a small area of decay, the procedure can be completed fairly quickly, and is a less expensive option. However, a crown is recommended for badly decayed, broken or damaged teeth and offer many, longer-term benefits.
Crowns strengthen teeth and will reinforce the tooth’s structure.
- For larger areas of decay, a crown provides more stability to hold together a severely cracked, broken or damaged tooth.
- Crowns can add protection to a worn tooth.
- Crowns are used to improve the look, color, shape, length or width of a tooth.
- Crowns are a relatively simple procedure and are a long-lasting solution.
If you are experiencing tooth sensitivity, a chipped or cracked tooth, dark spots on your teeth or pain, contact us! We can help determine what issues might exist and the best way forward to achieving improved oral health and get you smiling again!