Tooth decay is painful and can seriously damage your oral health. If left untreated, tooth decay can lead to root canal infections and tooth loss. Restorative dentistry treatments, including dental fillings and crowns, can repair dental damage and restore the smile's beauty. Both dental fillings and crowns are excellent treatment options for treating tooth decay and restoring dental function, but which one is right for your needs? For more information about dental fillings versus crowns, schedule a consultation at our Forney, TX practice, Forney Family Dentistry and Orthodontics. In the meantime, learn more about the difference between dental fillings and crowns in this overview.
Treatment with Dental Fillings
Dental fillings are solely used to treat tooth decay and restore teeth damaged by dental cavities. Dental fillings may be made of metal or tooth-colored materials. When gold or silver amalgam is used, a large portion of the damaged tooth must be removed in order to allow the filling to adhere to the tooth. Tooth-colored fillings are bonded directly to the tooth, preserving more of the tooth's structure.
Regardless of which material is used, dental filling treatment involves the removal of all damaged areas of the tooth, followed by a complete and thorough cleaning. Once the damaged, unhealthy areas are removed and the tooth is cleaned and free of debris, the dental filling may be placed, creating a seal to protect the tooth from further decay and damage.
Treatment with Dental Crowns
Dental crowns differ from dental fillings in that they are designed to cover the entire tooth and not just one targeted area. This makes dental crowns a great treatment option for teeth too damaged for treatment with dental fillings. Dental crowns are commonly used to restore the strength and appearance of decayed or otherwise damaged teeth, however, they may also be used to address cosmetic concerns, like misshaped or undersized teeth. Dental crowns may even be paired with dental implants to permanently replace missing teeth.
Traditionally, dental crown treatment requires two dental visits. But thanks to advances in dentistry, our team at Forney Family Dentistry and Orthodontics can complete treatment in as little as one visit. During treatment, the damaged tooth is cleaned and unhealthy portions are removed. Next, a digital imaging system is used to make a precise impression of the tooth. The digital impression is then used to craft a custom-made crown onsite, allowing treatment to be completed in one day. Once the crown is ready, it is bonded into place, improving oral health and restoring the smile's appearance.
Determining the Right Treatment
Determining which treatment to use, dental fillings or crowns, largely depends on the extent of damage. If decay is minor to moderate and most of the tooth remains healthy, dental fillings are commonly used to restore the smile. When decay has become too severe for treatment with dental fillings but enough of the structure of the tooth remains to save it from extraction, dental crowns are often a suitable treatment.
Which Treatment Is Right for You?
To find out which treatment is right for you needs, we invite you to schedule a consultation with our team at Forney Family Dentistry and Orthodontics.