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Dental Fillings Vs. Crowns
Tooth decay is a serious issue that can compromise the physical strength of your teeth as well as put them at risk for developing dangerous infections. When decay develops, treatment is needed right away. One of the most common treatments for tooth decay is dental fillings. However, sometimes a crown is needed. Excellent Dental Specialists can help to determine the best treatment to provide you with optimal results.
Fillings are a common treatment for restoring teeth affected by decay and cavities. This treatment uses a special material to fill in the cavity and prevent further damage. Fillings use one of two materials, amalgam or composite resin. Amalgam fillings are made up of a mixture of metals that are suspended in mercury. These fillings are very strong and can withstand strong biting and chewing pressures. Composite resin fillings are a metal and mercury-free alternative. These tooth-colored fillings are made up of a mixture of fine glass, plastic, and other materials. While not as strong as amalgam, they perfectly match the color of your natural teeth and can withstand the lighter pressures exerted on the front of the mouth, making them ideal for treating cavities in the front teeth.
While fillings can treat smaller areas of decay, they can compromise the teeth further if used to treat larger amounts of decay. Amalgam fillings can cause these teeth to shatter while composite fillings may break under too much pressure. In cases such as these, crowns may be recommended.
A crown is a cap-like restoration that encases the entire visible surface of a damaged or decayed tooth. Crowns can be made from many different materials, including metal, porcelain fused to metal, and ceramic. While metal crowns are the strongest, their color makes them stand out against the rest of your teeth. Ceramic crowns provide the greatest aesthetic results, despite not being as strong as metal. We can help to determine the best material to meet your specific needs. No matter what material is used, crowns are designed to protect teeth from further damage, prevent infections, and restore strength so that they can function normally.
Treatment with a Filling Vs. Treatment with a Crown
Fillings, whether amalgam or composite, require only one appointment and about 30 minutes to place. First, a local anesthetic is administered. Next, the tooth is cleaned, and the decay is drilled away. The filling material is then placed inside the tooth and cured.
Placing a crown is a little more involved. This process requires two separate appointments. At your first appointment, we first administer a local anesthetic. The decay is removed from the tooth, and a portion of your tooth enamel is removed. This reduces the size of the tooth. We then take an impression of your mouth and send it to our dental lab. The lab uses this impression to design and create your custom crown. At your second appointment, the finished crown is checked for fit and bite before being bonded into place on the tooth.
Which Treatment is Right for Me?
When you have suffered tooth decay, a dental exam is needed right away. We will perform a thorough oral examination, complete with digital dental X-rays, to determine the extent of the decay. This exam will help us to determine the best course of action to protect your tooth and restore your oral health.
If your tooth has been affected by decay, treatment is needed right away. With a thorough oral exam, we can help to determine if a filling or a crown is the right option for you.
Call Excellent Dental Specialists at (210) 598-8933 to schedule your appointment today.