If you have a damaged tooth, you may be wondering if a dental filling or crown is the appropriate treatment option. Both of these treatments allow our dentists to restore the health of teeth damaged by cavities, chips, fractures, and other types of dental damage. However, there are a number of differences between the two treatments, including the manner in which these restorative dentistry procedures are performed and the extent of damage that they can treat. In this blog post, the team at Southern Dental Implant Center discusses dental fillings vs. crowns to help our Memphis, TN patients understand why one may be recommended over the other.
At Southern Dental Implant Center, we use tooth-colored materials to restore the function and appearance of your smile. For dental fillings, we use a malleable composite resin material. This material can be tinted to match the color of the surrounding tooth structure.
To craft your custom dental crowns, we will instruct our lab technicians to use high quality dental porcelain. The porcelain will be shaded to blend in with the color of your surrounding teeth, and the material has a translucent shell that mimics the appearance of the natural teeth.
The Treatment Process
The dental filling treatment process takes a single dental appointment, which typically takes less than an hour. The dental crown treatment process requires two dental appointments.
To begin your dental filling treatment, we will administer local anesthetic and wait for it to take effect. Then, we will remove any diseased portions of the tooth and flush away any debris. When the tooth is clean, we will apply the composite resin material and shape it to the tooth to create the desired appearance and maintain proper bite alignment. The resin material can then be hardened with a curing light. The tooth is polished and treatment is complete.
The dental crown treatment process begins with local anesthetic and cleaning of the tooth. Next, we will remove some of the natural tooth structure from the perimeter of the tooth; this is done to create room for the dental crown. We will then take impressions of the tooth, and send these to the dental lab. To finish the initial appointment, we will place a temporary crown. When the custom crown has been crafted, which usually takes about two weeks, patients can return to our office to have it cemented in place.
The Extent of Damage
So, you may be wondering, why have a crown placed when dental filling treatment requires less time? A crown will only be recommended if the extent of tooth damage is severe enough that a dental filling will simply not provide the strength and support that is needed to withstand daily wear and tear. A crown completely encloses the tooth, protecting it from further damage or breakage. We may recommend a crown if you have undergone root canal therapy, have a tooth with a large filling, or have suffered a large chip or fracture.
To find out if a dental filling or crown is right for you, contact Southern Dental Implant Center today.