It’s essential to keep our teeth healthy by eating right and performing good regular hygiene so that when we go to the dentist, we receive a good bill of health! But for some, there are times when life gets too busy or certain obstacles get in the way of us taking care of our teeth that lead to issues. Fortunately, a crown or filling can restore function to a painful tooth and allow us to smile again. Read on to learn more about when you might need a crown versus when you may need a filling.
What Is a Crown?
A dental crown is a cap that the dentist places over a tooth. Crowns utilize materials such as porcelain, metal, and occasionally a mixture of both. Some crowns consist of a plastic polymer, but they typically act as temporary crowns between procedures.
Dental crowns last for years with the potential of lasting decades with proper care. The crown’s purpose is to protect the tooth, covering it and preventing it from receiving further damage.
What Is a Filling?
A dental filling is a material that dentists use to fill a hole or cavity of a damaged or decaying tooth. Most people have fillings after procedures where dentists drill into the tooth to remove decayed tissue from cavities, such as root canals. There are numerous types of fillings that dentists use, such as porcelain, gold, zinc, or composite resin. Dental fillings will usually last for over a decade, depending on how you treat the tooth and if you have certain habits like grinding your teeth.
When Do I Need a Crown?
You typically know a crown is necessary when a tooth shows damage or needs a temporary covering before another procedure. If you have a chip or crack in your tooth, a dentist may place a crown over it after sealing the tooth to ensure no further damage occurs. People with discolored or poor-looking teeth may request a cosmetic dental procedure to have a crown placed over the tooth to make it look better or prevent any more discoloration.
When Do I Need a Filling?
After a procedure, you might need a filling to seal the new opening and ensure you won’t get any bacteria inside it. After procedures such as root canals, the tooth will have less healthy tissue, and the filling will help preserve those tissues and prevent damage to the inside of the tooth. When your tooth is sensitive, you may have a bad cavity that needs addressing, in which case a filling will be in your future.
The uses of crowns and fillings help many people who suffer from dental problems. But the use of these dental procedures will only be required in special circumstances, and knowing when you need them will help you determine what signs to look for in your as you use your teeth each day.