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Restorative Dentistry: A Filling or a Crown?

Craig Goldin DDS Sep 11, 2015

Digital image of a crownFillings and crowns are two of the most common restorative dentistry treatments. Both restorations can improve functionality, enhance your appearance, and strengthen weakened teeth. However, the two restorations are not appropriate in the same situations. Fillings are smaller and require much less preparatory work. Crowns, on the other hand, will fully cover a damaged tooth, and your dentist will need to remove a significant amount of dental tissue to place the restoration. Drs. Craig and Marcy Goldin offer personalized care. They will evaluate your needs to determine the right treatment for you. No matter which restoration you receive, our lifelike materials will maintain the natural beauty of your smile. To learn more about dental fillings versus crowns, contact our Troy practice today.

Fillings for Moderate Decay

You probably assume that fillings are the go-to treatment for cavities. In cases of minor to moderate decay, they are indeed the treatment of choice. The material will strengthen your weakened tooth and seal the opening so that bacteria cannot return. For many years, fillings were always made of metal. This material was very durable, but it would eventually show through patients’ teeth. At the Cosmetic Dentistry Institute, we offer only tooth-colored fillings. Made of composite resin, the restorations are still quite strong, but they will harmonize with your smile. They also require less prep work and will form a stronger bond with your tooth.

To place a filling, Dr. Craig or Dr. Marcy Goldin will remove all bacteria and damaged tissue. After choosing the right shade, your dentist will then apply multiple layers of composite, using a curing light to harden each successive layer. You can typically receive a filling in one appointment.

Crowns for Extensive Damage

A crown will encase your tooth. To provide a lifelike crown, your dentist will reshape your tooth, removing a significant amount of dental tissue. This process will prevent further decay, and it will also make room for the restoration. Then Dr. Craig or Dr. Marcy Goldin will use our state-of-the-art CEREC® system to scan your tooth. The scanner will generate 3-D images, and these will upload to an in-office milling machine. In as little as 20 minutes, the machine will produce a crown that is a near-perfect match to the shape and color of your tooth. Then your dentist will make sure it fits correctly before attaching it to your tooth. Thanks to our advanced technology, crowns usually require one appointment, as well.

A Conservative Approach to Restorative Care

Both crowns and fillings are effective treatments. Nevertheless, our dentists will recommend the most conservative option possible. Fillings require less preparation. They will also preserve more of your natural tooth structure, which is stronger than even the most advanced restorative material. On the other hand, if you have a very large cavity, a filling will not provide enough support or protection. It will be much easier for bacteria to enter your tooth, and you could require more extensive care in several years. In general, if your cavity covers more than 2/3 of your tooth, or if your tooth is cracked, your dentist will recommend a crown.

Learn More about Restorative Dentistry

If you have a damaged tooth, do not wait to receive the care you need. Contact our office today to find out which treatment is most appropriate for you.

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Troy, MI 48083

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