Why Would I Need a Crown Instead of a Filling?

 Do you have a cavity, broken tooth, or a tooth that hurts? The first thing on your mind is probably whether or not you have a cavity. To find out how bad the decay or infection really is, your dentist will take an x-ray. When he comes back and tells you that you need a crown to save a tooth, you might be wondering, “Why can’t I just fill it instead?”

The Difference Between Fillings and Crowns

Fillings go inside of teeth, rebuilding the holed out area caused by tooth decay. But when cavities grow too big, a thin shell of porcelain can’t hold your restoration in place. Even if you did fill the tooth, a few bites during your next meal might just crack the entire tooth in half.

In contrast, a crown covers your entire tooth. The “cap” extends all the way to the gumlines and prevents your enamel from succumbing to everyday pressures that might otherwise cause something to break off.

All of that being said, tooth decay is easier to correct when you catch it early. In such cases, a very small or drill-free filling is often all that’s needed. Without ongoing care, the decay can spread deeper and go beyond the point of just “patching up.” The same goes for very large fractures and accidental breaks.

After a Root Canal

dental-crowns-and-tooth-000020869654_xxxlargeThe other situation when a crown is needed is after a root canal. Endodontic treatment removes the nerve inside of a tooth, so that it’s no longer alive. Although your tooth can last for years this way, it becomes brittle. Crowing the tooth prevents anything from chipping off that shouldn’t.

Think you may need a crown or tooth colored filling? Call Washington Square Cosmetic & Family Dentistry today to schedule an exam. Ask about our savings plan to get 20% off of your treatment!