What Do I Need?
Have you ever been in the dentist’s chair, feeling like a king or a queen because they told you that you needed a crown? Why, yes. I am royalty, you might think to yourself. Okay, we know that you might not be drawing comparisons to how awesome you are, but there may be a lot of questions running through your mind. Why do I need a crown over a filling? is a common question that we encounter. There are similarities between the two. They both can help repair a tooth that is facing decay aka a cavity. As we share how to tell them apart, you’ll realize that the goal is to restore a tooth to normal function once again.
Teeth Have Fillings Too
We know that it’s worrisome to hear that we need a filling or crown. We all have “fillings” after all! Jokes aside, fillings are primarily used to repair a tooth that has a cavity. In general, the decay should be fairly minor. A filling is just like how it sounds. You’re removing decay and filling the tooth to its original shape. Imagine filling a treat with frosting. The treat becomes sturdier when the empty space is filled. With a dental filling, the goal is to make the tooth stronger and prevent decay from worsening. Once the decay is removed and the tooth is cleaned, your dentist will fill the tooth with what is called composite resin, porcelain, or another material. Fillings tend to be more affordable than crowns as well, but there are some instances when a filling would be unhelpful. Let’s look at why we may choose a crown over the filling.
When I Need a Crown
Maybe your dentist does say you need a crown. Now what? You’ll want to know that a crown is actually like a crown (hat) for your tooth. It’s a fake tooth that caps over your tooth. Unlike the process of filling a tooth, the tooth in question will need to be trimmed down so that a crown can fit over the top. A crown requires that we take an impression of the tooth in question. Then, the impression is sent to a lab or made in-house so that it is customized to fit your specific tooth. How fancy! If your crown is made at a lab, your dentist will provide you with a temporary crown. Even though crowns can take longer than fillings, you may find yourself excited to get a crown. It can be a big relief to replace the problem with something that feels like a sturdy tooth.
When a dentist recommends a crown, there are a few reasons why they’ll select this option over a filling. Crowns are placed when a cavity is too large to be filled. You may also need a crown to restore a cracked or broken tooth or to maintain a tooth’s shape and strength after a root canal. If a tooth has been filled before, it may be too weak to fill again. So what do we need in these instances? You guessed it. A good old crown.
On the Fence
If your dentist is recommending a certain treatment option, they should be able to clearly explain to you why they chose a particular option. Be sure to ask questions if you have them. It’s perfectly reasonable to ask if a filling would be better than a crown. Your dentist will be able to elaborate on their decision. If you’re still on the fence about the discussion, you’re welcome to seek a second opinion from another provider.
At our office, we offer free second opinion consultations when current x-rays are provided. Reach out to us today to set up an appointment.