Fillings Vs. Crowns
At Beyond Dental and Implant Center we provide a variety of services to help you maintain excellent oral health. While some of our services are preventative, we mostly specialize in restorative procedures that address instances of tooth decay, periodontal disease, and trauma. Our restorations are designed to improve the aesthetics and function of your smile. The following information will help you discern the differences between our two most common restorations, fillings, and dental crowns.
What Is a Dental Filling?
Most patients will need a dental filling at some point in their lives. Fillings are used to address minor to moderate instances of tooth decay, commonly known as cavities. We can determine if you are in need of a filling during your routine checkup. The procedure is minor and relatively straightforward.
During the procedure, Dr. Cory Nguyen may begin by administering local anesthetic to numb the area and eliminate any discomfort. Next, we will clean out the cavity and remove the decayed tooth material. Once the area is completely clean and dry, the filling is set into place.
While metal fillings were normal in the past, most fillings these days are made with composite resin. Composite resin is a putty-like material that can be color-matched to the existing shade of your enamel (the outer layer of the tooth). Composite also bonds directly to the tooth, which allows you to maintain more of your healthy tooth structure. We use an ultraviolet curing light to harden the composite and expedite the bonding process.
What Is a Dental Crown?
A dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap we use to repair a tooth with major tooth decay or damage. To place a dental crown, we must completely reshape the entire tooth. The procedure is typically broken down into two appointments.
During the first appointment, Dr. Cory Nguyen will use a drum-like appliance to file down the top and sides of the tooth. The enamel must be reshaped to accommodate the shape of the crown. Once the tooth is completely reshaped, we will take an impression. The impression will be used to make a 3D model of your newly shaped tooth. This model will be sent to our dental laboratory, where our technicians will use it to fabricate your dental crown. The fabrication process typically takes several weeks. In the meantime, we may give you a temporary crown to protect your tooth, and restore your ability to chew properly.
During your second appointment, we will remove the temporary, and permanently bond the final crown to the enamel. Much like fillings, crowns used to be made from metal. While these crowns are still used today, most patients opt for porcelain. Porcelain is a ceramic compound that mimics the appearance of natural enamel. Thanks to recent improvements, porcelain crowns have better durability and esthetics than ever before.
When Is a Crown Necessary?
We always try to preserve as much healthy tooth structure as possible, which is why fillings are the first line of defense against existing tooth decay. Crowns are necessary if the decay or damage is too severe for a filling. In other words, we may recommend a dental crown if:
Schedule Your Consultation Appointment
If you are experiencing any pain or difficulties with your teeth, call (972) 591-7520 to schedule your consultation appointment today.