Your teeth are incredibly strong, but they aren’t indestructible. There are more treatments available than ever before to repair damaged teeth. However, dental crowns and fillings are among the most popular because they are durable and effective. Both offer restorative benefits, but there are several differences between the two. Here’s what you need to know to determine if a crown or dental filling is right for you.
Understanding Dental Fillings
Fillings are the go-to solution to treat cavities. Traditional fillings are made of a mixture of metals, including mercury. Modern fillings are made of a composite resin that’s completely metal free. A composite resin provides a biocompatible method for treating mild-to-moderate tooth decay.
Tooth-colored fillings are customizable to match the color of your enamel to blend in, so no one will know it’s there. The resin can be used for other reasons, like fixing a chipped tooth or covering an exposed root.
Composite fillings are durable and last for 5 to 15 years before needing to be replaced with the correct aftercare, like brushing and flossing. Fillings are often categorized as a preventive service, so they can be covered by your dental insurance.
Understanding Dental Crowns
A dental crown covers the entire portion of a tooth above the gum line. Traditional restorations are made from a variety of metals, including silver and gold. All-ceramic materials are the preferred option because they look like real teeth. Your dentist can customize your crown to match the color, size, and shape of your natural teeth.
Unlike a filling, a crown requires your tooth to be reshaped to allow the cap to fit over it. This makes the procedure slightly more invasive than a dental filling. However, crowns can treat more significant issues, like large areas of decay or fractures. They can also be used along with other procedures, like root canal therapy or dental bridges.
A crown can last for 10 years or longer with the right maintenance, like good oral hygiene and regular dental care. Your insurance may pay a portion of the cost after meeting your annual deductible if your crown is medically necessary.
Which Is Right for You?
Only a dentist can determine whether a crown or filling will meet your needs. They’ll examine your mouth and may review X-rays to have a complete picture of your oral health. No matter the method, your results will look natural. You won’t think twice before showing your pearly whites.
About Dr. Armin M. Tepner
Dr. Tepner achieved his dental degree at the Indiana University School of Dentistry and has regularly continued his education in advanced services, like sedation, occlusion, and general dentistry. He strives to help each patient reach optimal oral health while creating a beautiful smile. Request an appointment online or call (317) 622-6605.