What is The Difference Fillings and Crowns?
Medically reviewed by Dr Jerry Jesin

What is The Difference Fillings and Crowns?

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6 months ago

You hear about all sorts of dental procedures designed to correct defects, preserve teeth, and ensure they remain functional and attractive. Two of the more common solutions that you hear people discuss are fillings and crowns. At times, they seem to be discussed together. That makes you wonder if Toronto dental fillings and crowns are really the same thing. In fact, they are no. Here’s what you need to know about crowns and dental fillings, including how they can be used together.

The Basics of Dental Fillings

Mississauga dental fillings are sometimes referred to as dental restorations. That’s because the function of the filling is to replace a section of the tooth that’s lost. Doing so restores the look and function of the tooth.

Dental fillings effectively fill in areas of a tooth that were hollowed out for some reason. Doing so helps to prevent further damage to the remaining tooth as well as restoring the appearance.

The patient will have multiple choices of the material used for the filling. You may opt for some type of metal like gold or silver. Along with metal fillings, there are plastic and resin options to consider. You can even go with a filling amalgam that contains several metals, including copper and tin. Patients who want the filling to look as natural as possible would do well to take a look at white resin fillings and how they can be tinted to match the rest of the tooth.

While fillings are made to last for a long time, they will eventually need to be replaced. Most patients will get at least a decade of use before a replacement is necessary. When the filling sustains less wear, it’s possible to get as much as 15 years of use.

Understanding the Dental Crown

Dental crowns are also used in the process of dental restoration, but serve a slightly different purpose than Mississauga dental fillings. A crown is sometimes referred to as a cap. That’s because the crown is attached to the top of the tooth. That crown is typically customized to resemble the top of a tooth that is perfectly proportioned. It’s that careful attention to detail that makes it possible for the crown to blend in seamlessly with the rest of the surrounding teeth.

As with the fillings, dental crowns can be made using a variety of materials. You could go with gold or other base metal alloys, or you could opt for porcelain crowns that are fused to metal. When designed and attached properly, a crown can reasonably be expected to last for 15 years. Depending on the amount of wear and tear the crown sustains, you could get up to 30 years of use.

When Should a Filling Be Used?

Dental fillings are most commonly used to restore a tooth after decay is identified. The dentist removes the decayed portion and fillings the cavity with the filling material selected by the patient. Options like white resin fillings set quickly. You’ll also find that metal fillings are carefully fitted to fill in the vacant space perfectly and don’t take long to set. It’s not unusual for a patient to feel a little soreness for a short time after getting the filling. Rest assured it will pass quickly.

Whether you opt for resin or metal fillings, the result is a tooth that looks better and is also less likely to continue deteriorating at a rapid pace. Dentists generally recommend fillings when most of the tooth is still healthy. If the decay has claimed most of the tooth, there’s a good chance the dental expert will recommend extraction and the use of some sort of replacement, like a bridge or an implant.

Applications for a Dental Crown

Dental crowns are often employed when a tooth has been cracked or chipped. In both scenarios, adding a crown helps to strengthen the weakened tooth as well as restore the appearance. The crown may also be used to build up teeth that have worn down due to grinding or a similar issue.

As with metal or white resin fillings, porcelain crowns may be used in conjunction with some other type of dental solution. For example, it’s not unusual for a dentist to recommend the application of veneers to teeth that are cracked. Adding a crown to the veneer ensures that the pressure exerted on the tooth is less likely to cause the crack to spread. When paired with the veneer, the tooth is almost as strong as it was before the damage occurred.

Can the Two Be Used Together?

Mississauga dental fillings can certainly be used along with crowns. The dentist is most likely to recommend this combination when a cavity is a little larger, but not large enough to merit extracting the tooth.

A combination of dental fillings and porcelain crowns fills in the cavity and protects the root from additional damage or pain due to exposure to heat and cold. The crown restores the appearance of the tooth and also helps to provide additional protection to the filling. This is especially important if the tooth happens to be a molar and is used for chewing.

What Does Your Dentist Recommend?

Dentists tend to recommend specific dental procedures because they will benefit the patient in some way. There are times when porcelain crowns will increase the strength of a tooth and reduce the risk of additional damage. At other times, adding a crown means the tooth will have a more natural appearance.

When the dentist recommends that Mississauga dental fillings and crowns be used together, it’s normally to strengthen the tooth, help the patient avoid additional pain, and make the tooth look as good as possible. Take the recommendation of the dentist seriously.

Do you have teeth that are damaged in some manner? Now is a good time to talk with your dentist about what sort of procedures would correct the problem. Whether it’s metal fillings alone or a combination of dental crowns paired with white resin fillings, rest assured that having the work done now will mean keeping your real teeth for many more years.

Andrea Galick

Andrea Galick is an accomplished Dental Hygienist (RDH) with a passion for helping patients achieve optimal oral health. Andrea has built a reputation as a caring and skilled practitioner who puts her patients at ease and provides individualized care that meets their unique needs.