When to Choose Dental Crowns Over Fillings

If you have problems like tooth decay or damage, you may be debating getting a dental filling versus a dental crown. Each treatment can benefit patients who need restorations; fillings add structure within a tooth, while dental crowns fully cover single teeth. Dental fillings are bonded to a tooth, while dental crowns are cemented in place over a tooth. Our dental office can help patients choose the right treatment for their current oral health needs and goals. Here, we will review when it’s best to choose dental crown treatment over dental fillings in our Arlington Heights, IL, dental office.

Dental Fillings vs. Dental Crowns in Arlington Heights, IL

If you have a decayed tooth, it’s best to receive root canal treatment before getting a filling. Root canal treatments remove infected cells, nerves, and blood vessels within the tooth also called the dental pulp. Once a dentist cleans the area within the tooth, they can insert a filling to prevent reinfection and add the needed structure to the tooth.

Dental fillings can address:

  • Minor Repairs: While they may not seem minor, holes in the teeth left by cavities can often only require a filling. After removing any decay or debris in the cavity, we clean the cavity and apply a filling. Dental fillings cannot address large areas of damage on the teeth.
  • Damage Within Teeth: Once harmful bacteria reach the inner tooth chamber, they compromise the nerves, blood vessels, and cells that keep teeth alive. Removing infected material and replacing it with a filling can prevent reinfection or extraction.

While dental fillings can be a more economical option over dental crowns, they may not be the best option if patients have extensive damage. Alternatively, dental crowns can treat:

  • Large Areas of Decay: Crowns can cover a larger portion of the smile. If a dental cavity is too large, we may also recommend a dental crown to cover the tooth after we treat the cavity. We can combine fillings with dental crowns if we need to fill the tooth and add structure to the outside of the tooth.
  • Cracked or Misshapen Teeth: Dental fillings can also only affect the inside of the tooth and cannot correct the appearance of misshapen teeth. Covering damaged or misshapen teeth with a crown protects the tooth and also creates a more balanced, even bite. Uneven bites can create discomfort when biting or chewing, and already damaged teeth can sustain more damage over time.
  • Weakened Teeth: Sometimes, we will stabilize weakened teeth by covering them with a crown. If a tooth is too worn or weak, we may recommend a crown over a filling to ensure that there is enough support for the tooth.

Do you need a dental filling or dental crown treatment? Call AH Smiles today at (847) 230-9703. You can also schedule a dental consultation with us on our website. If you are unsure which option is right for you, let us know at your next appointment, and we can help. We will examine your smile, review your current needs, and recommend the best course of treatment.