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Fillings vs. Crowns: Which Treatment Is Right for You?

Dr. Degel Sep 2, 2015

Tooth being prepped for a fillingIf you have dental decay, you typically have two treatment options. Fillings and crowns can both restore damaged teeth. The right treatment for you will mostly depend on the size of your cavity. Fortunately, at Astoria Dental Group, we offer highly lifelike restorations. Therefore, no matter what treatment you undergo, you will enjoy beautiful, natural results. Along with naturally-colored porcelain crowns, we also offer tooth-colored fillings made from a durable composite resin. Because they are a more conservative option, we will recommend fillings instead of crowns whenever possible. However, in all cases, we will conduct a thorough consultation, and we will only recommend the treatment that is in your best interests. To learn more about dental fillings vs. crowns, contact our Queens practice today.

What Happens When You Receive a Filling?

One of the primary goals when placing a filling is the elimination of bacteria. Therefore, when placing a filling, Dr. Degel or Dr. Every-Degel will clean out your tooth, using gentle, precise techniques to remove microbes and damaged tissue. Your tooth will be numb, so you should feel very little during this process. When all bacteria are gone, your dentist will place a special solution to etch the walls of your tooth. This material will create microscopic fissures and more surface area for the filling. Finally, Dr. Degel or Dr. Every-Degel will place the color-matched filling in layers. He or she will use a curing light to harden each successive tier.

When Is a Filling Appropriate?

A filling may be the optimal solution if you have a small to moderately sized cavity. We can also provide a tooth-colored filling if you have an old metal restoration that has started to show through your tooth. Fillings require much less tooth prep than dental crowns. Therefore, we will recommend this treatment whenever possible.

What Happens When You Receive a Crown?

A crown is a tooth-shaped restoration that will fit all the way over your damaged tooth. Crowns can be made from many different materials, including metal and porcelain-fused-to-metal. For the most pleasing aesthetic results, we will typically recommend porcelain or another tooth-colored material. To place a crown, Dr. Degel or Dr. Every-Degel will reshape your tooth. In addition to removing the damaged or decayed tissue, your dentist will also fashion a stable base for your crown. Then he or she will take impressions of your newly reshaped tooth. Our partner lab can use the measurements to create a restoration that is virtually indistinguishable from the rest of your smile. It will usually take several weeks to create your crown, and we can place a temporary restoration while you wait. When the final crown is finished, your dentist will bond it to your tooth using naturally colored materials.

When Is a Crown Appropriate?

A crown is a larger restoration, and it will require much more prep work than a filling. Therefore, we typically recommend crowns only in cases of severe damage. A crown may be right for you if:

  • You have such extensive decay that a filling would not provide enough support for your tooth. (Typically, a cavity that extends over more than one-third of your tooth is too big for a filling.)
  • The force of your bite places a lot of extra force on your damaged tooth.
  • Your tooth has a large crack.
  • You have a root canal infection.
  • Your tooth has dramatic aesthetic flaws.

Learn Which Treatment Is Right for You

To learn more about crowns and fillings, contact Astoria Dental Group today. We will evaluate your smile and make an honest treatment recommendation in keeping with your needs. 

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Astoria, NY 11106

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