Sometimes patients express a concern that they require a crown instead of a filling. Dental crowns and fillings perform two very different tasks and treat varying conditions.
When a Filling Works
Fillings are typically used to make minor repairs to your teeth. If you have a cavity, but much of your tooth structure is still completely healthy, a filling will likely do the trick, especially if it’s your front tooth and does not absorb the majority of the force from chewing.
Composite fillings are also useful to fix small chips, gaps, and misshapen teeth. While fillings seal your teeth and help to keep out future bacteria and prevent further decay, they do little to provide stability to your overall tooth structure. In fact, large fillings can often break or fall out from day-to-day chewing.
When a Dental Crown Works
Dental crowns perform several functions:
Seal your tooth – dental crowns provide a tight seal over your tooth to keep out food and bacteria. That is why accurate creation of your dental crowns is so important. The seal we create will keep out acids and bacteria that break down your tooth structure and cause decay and infection.
Stability – dental crowns protect your tooth by providing stability. Dental crowns are like protective helmets that fit over your remaining tooth structure and keep it from splitting or cracking. This is especially important for teeth with root canals or large areas of decay.
Absorb force – dental crowns absorb some of the force from chewing. Your jaws are incredibly strong. You probably noticed this is you have accidentally bit the inside of your cheek while chewing. In fact, your jaw exerts so much force, you can break your own teeth if you have a hard bite, clench, or grind your teeth. Your dental crown absorbs some of that force so that your tooth doesn’t have to.
Do you have more questions about crowns vs. fillings? Give Keledjian Dental a call today to learn more!