dental crown filling technicianIf you’ve been to the dentist and have been told that you have a cavity, then your dentist may have talked to you about crowns or fillings (or both!). These are two different methods used to repair teeth that have big cavities or have been broken or chipped. Here’s some more information on these two restoration options.
Dental Fillings
A filling is a restoration in which the decayed portion of your tooth is removed and the space is filled with a material to restore the tooth’s shape and structural integrity. Your dentist may use metals, such as gold; porcelain; silver amalgam (which consists of mercury mixed with silver, tin, zinc, and copper); or plastic or composite resin materials. .
When recommending a filling or a crown for tooth restoration, the size and shape of the hole to be filled is important. If a lot of the tooth has damage, the walls of the tooth may be weak, giving less support for the filling. In some cases like this, the filling can even act as a wedge that further weakens the tooth as pressure is applied to the filling. These are the factors that your dentist takes into account when considering a filling, and as the size of the filling increases, so do the issues associated with them.
Dental Crowns
Dental Crowns, which are sometimes called caps, are another type of restoration that similar to fillings, but provide greater strength and protection to the tooth. A crown is basically a cap placed over the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, and improve its appearance. Unlike a filling that is placed inside the existing tooth, the crown cups over the entire tooth above the gumline. If your tooth has sustained a more significant amount of damage, dental crowns are able to restore its shape and functionality.
Another advantage that crowns have is that the materials to used to create crowns are substantially stronger than those used to make dental fillings. Crowns are also typically able to withstand pressure far better than fillings. Because the crown cups over the tooth, the biting forces are evenly distributed to the underlying tooth.
If you have a cavity, the extent of the damage will determine which method your dentist recommends. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Be sure to brush and floss regularly and see your Mesa dentist at least twice a year.