Dental Crowns vs. Dental Fillings: What’s the Difference?
Teeth are incredibly strong, but cavities and damage can compromise their structural integrity. Leaving damaged or weakened teeth untreated can result in further dental damage, pain, and health-threatening infections. A trained dentist, however, can reinforce and preserve compromised teeth with contemporary solutions, like dental crowns and fillings.
Dr. Nathaniel Podilsky has 40 years of experience helping patients strengthen their smiles with gentle and effective restorative solutions. From root canal therapy to dental implants, Dr. Podilsky can handle all of your oral health needs in Edmonton, AB.
In this post, Dr. Podilsky discusses the primary differences between dental crowns vs. fillings. Knowing the function of each restorative procedure can help you make the right choice for your oral health.
What Is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a tooth-like prosthetic that a skilled dentist places over a severely decayed or damaged tooth. Dental crowns serve several purposes, including:
- Protecting the tooth from further damage
- Shielding the tooth from invading bacteria
- Enhancing the tooth’s function and appearance
- Reducing dental sensitivity
Dental crowns look remarkably like natural teeth, as they are crafted to resemble the shape and color of the teeth that they protect. As a result, dental crowns are a discreet and effective way to improve a weak or dull smile.
Exploring the Procedure
Dr. Podilsky first prepares the tooth by removing any decay or tooth shards. Then, he shaves the tooth down to size. Next, he places the custom-made crown over the affected tooth and permanently cements it into place. The result is a beautifully restored tooth that looks, feels, and functions just like a natural tooth.
What Is a Dental Filling?
A dental filling acts like a plug or patch to prevent minor damage and decay from advancing. Using a biocompatible, tooth-colored composite resin, a trained dentist can:
- Fill in pits, cracks, and grooves to prevent cavities
- Treat smaller cavities
- Fix chips and craze lines
- Cover smile flaws (like internal dental stains)
Exploring the Procedure
First, Dr. Podilsky removes any infected or loose material. Next, he molds the composite resin into place, ensuring that the cavity or damage is completely covered. Finally, he cures the resin using a special lamp, resulting in a stronger, healthier, more functional tooth.
Dental Crowns vs. Fillings: Which Do I Need?
In general, Dr. Podilsky recommends dental fillings for his Edmonton patients who are experiencing only minor damage and decay. Dental crowns, however, are typically reserved for more extensive damage.
Dental fillings are minimally-invasive compared to dental crowns, which means that patients can save more of their tooth’s natural framework with fillings. And, when it comes to the health of patients’ smiles, it is always preferable to preserve as much of the tooth’s framework as possible.
Nevertheless, some damage is too significant to repair with patch-like fillings. In these cases, dental crowns may be the only way to save a tooth from infection or extraction. Therefore, Dr. Podilsky may recommend dental crowns for:
- Major dental damage
- Deep cavities
- Root canal therapy
Strengthen Damaged Teeth with Dental Crowns and Fillings
When it comes to dental crowns vs. fillings, patients don’t need to make the decision alone. Dr. Podilsky and his knowledgeable Edmonton team can help you choose the best treatment for your oral health, aesthetic, and budget. Schedule an appointment today by calling (780) 428-6846 or by sending our friendly team a message.