Pick the perfect dental restoration for your situation.

Tooth decay and dental injuries are as common as they are inconvenient, but thanks to the miracles of restorative dentistry such as dental crowns or dental fillings, they don’t have to mean the end of a healthy, radiant smile!

Among the most trusted solutions in the dentistry world are dental fillings and crowns. These treatment options both aim to restore the functionality and appearance of damaged teeth, ensuring that your smile stays as vibrant as ever. However, despite serving similar purposes, neither is a one-size-fits-all solution. Depending on the severity of the decay or injury, one option may prove a better choice than the other.

Let’s discuss the specifics of each procedure to help you understand why your dentist might recommend a crown instead of a filling, or vice versa.

What are dental fillings?

Fillings seal and fill cavities before they affect the inner nerves of your teeth, safeguarding them from further damage and preserving their strength. Traditionally, fillings have been made from materials like silver amalgam or gold, but with advances in dental technology, tooth-colored fillings have become increasingly popular due to their natural look.

Tooth-colored fillings are made from a mixture of resin and glass-like particles that can be custom-matched to the color of your teeth. This makes them virtually undetectable, providing a discreet solution for cavities in visible areas.

What are dental fillings used for?

Dental fillings are typically used for small to medium-sized cavities caused by tooth decay. They can also be used to repair minor chips or cracks on the surface of a tooth. In some cases, they may be recommended as a preventative measure to strengthen weak areas of the teeth and prevent future decay.

What’s the process of getting a dental filling?

Receiving a dental filling is a relatively straightforward and minimally invasive procedure. Your dentist will first numb the area around the affected tooth using a local anesthetic to ensure you’re comfortable throughout the process.

Next, they will remove any decayed areas of your tooth and clean the cavity to prevent infection or further decay. Once cleaned, your dentist will apply layers of composite resin, using a special light to harden each layer. This process will continue until the filling reaches the desired shape and size.

Finally, your dentist will polish the filling to match the natural sheen of your tooth and check your bite to ensure it’s comfortable and functional. With proper care, a tooth-colored filling will last many years as long as you take good care of your oral health.

What are dental crowns?

Dental crowns are another form of restorative dentistry used to repair and strengthen damaged teeth. They are custom-made coverings that encapsulate the entire visible portion of a tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and appearance.

Crowns can be made from various materials, such as porcelain, metal alloys, or a combination of both. Porcelain crowns are often preferred as they closely mimic the natural look and color of your teeth, but composite-type crowns can also be completed in a single visit, thanks to CEREC technology.

What are dental crowns used for?

Dental crowns have a wide range of uses in restorative dentistry. They are primarily used when a tooth is damaged or decayed beyond what a simple filling can repair. Crowns can also be used to protect a weak tooth from breaking or to hold together parts of a cracked tooth.

Crowns are also a vital component in dental procedures, such as dental bridges and implants, serving as a cover for the anchor tooth or implant. Additionally, after a root canal treatment, a crown is often necessary to safeguard the tooth and prevent further damage.

What’s the process of getting a dental crown?

The process of getting a dental crown typically involves two appointments. During the first visit, the dentist examines and prepares the tooth needing a crown. Any decay is removed, and the tooth is reshaped to provide a secure fit for the crown. Impressions of your teeth are then taken to serve as a mold for the dental lab to create your custom crown. In the meantime, a temporary crown is placed to protect your tooth.

If you’re getting a lab-created porcelain crown, this is where your first appointment ends. The dentist sends your impressions to a dental lab, where they meticulously craft your custom crown over a period of two weeks. You’ll then return at a later time to have the permanent crown cemented.

However, with advancements in dental technology, there’s now an alternative to the traditional two-week wait: CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) same day crowns. Using CAD/CAM technology, dentists craft the CEREC crown right in the office during your appointment, all on the same day. This means within one visit, your prepared tooth is protected with a durable, well-fitted, and aesthetically pleasing ceramic crown.

How do I choose between a filling and a crown?

The choice between a dental filling and a dental crown depends largely upon the extent of tooth damage. In cases of minor decay or small cavities, a filling is often the go-to restorative dentistry solution. However, if your tooth is extensively damaged or weakened, a dental crown becomes the preferred choice, providing added strength and protection.

Personal considerations such as aesthetics, functionality, and long-term durability also play a crucial role in this decision. Dental crowns, specifically those made from porcelain or ceramic, closely mimic the color and appearance of natural teeth, making them a visually pleasing choice. In terms of functionality, both fillings and crowns effectively restore tooth function, but crowns offer more comprehensive coverage and support for severely damaged teeth. As for durability, dental crowns provide a longer-lasting solution, especially when properly cared for.

It’s worth noting that dental crowns are not solely restorative because they also have cosmetic benefits. For instance, a crown can cover a discolored or misshapen tooth, enhancing your overall smile.

Revive your smile with crowns, fillings, and more, at Bloomington Modern Dentistry.

Whether you require a dental filling or a dental crown, restorative dentistry is all about meeting your unique needs and enhancing your oral health. At Bloomington Modern Dentistry, we provide personalized dental solutions that guarantee to revive your smile and boost your confidence. Trust in our dedicated team, led by our skilled dentists in Bloomington, Illinois, who commit to delivering the best in dental care.

Don’t let dental issues keep you from flashing that winning smile. Take the first step towards a healthier, brighter smile today. Schedule an appointment with us today.