More than one-third of Canadians brush their teeth twice and floss once every day. Many of these people won't ever have to worry about getting fillings or crowns at any point in the future.
That's great for those people, but unfortunately, that means that almost two-thirds of Canadians aren't brushing and flossing their teeth often enough. This can inevitably lead to tooth decay and other oral health issues, which could result in them having to get dental fillings and/or crowns down the line.
So, what is the difference between fillings and crowns? We're going to break it down for you below, just in case you ever need fillings or crowns throughout the course of your dental care.
What Are Fillings?
Dental fillings are a common dental treatment used to restore teeth that have been damaged by decay or trauma. Fillings are used to fill cavities or holes in the teeth caused by decay, fracture, or wear. The damaged or decayed part of the tooth is removed, and the remaining tooth structure is filled with a dental material to restore its function and appearance. Dental fillings can be made of various materials, including composite resin, amalgam, and porcelain. Composite resin fillings are tooth-colored and blend in with natural teeth, making them a popular choice for visible teeth. Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, are made of a mixture of metals and are more durable, but they are more visible than composite resin fillings but are not commonly used anymore.
Dental fillings are a quick and straightforward treatment that can be completed in a single dental visit, and they are typically less expensive and less invasive than other dental restorations.
What Are Crowns?
Dental crowns, also known as caps, are custom-made dental restorations that cover the entire visible portion of a damaged tooth. They are typically used to restore the shape, size, strength, and appearance of teeth that have been significantly damaged or weakened due to decay, cracks, fractures, root canal therapy, or large fillings.
Dental crowns can be made of various materials, including porcelain, ceramic, resin, and metal alloys. Porcelain and ceramic crowns are tooth-colored and provide a natural-looking and aesthetically pleasing restoration. Resin and metal crowns, on the other hand, are more durable and long-lasting but are less aesthetically pleasing.
The process of getting a dental crown involves several steps. First, the dentist will numb the tooth and surrounding area with a local anesthetic. Then, they will remove any decay or damage and shape the tooth to prepare it for the crown. Next, they will take an impression of the tooth, which is used to create a custom-made crown in a dental laboratory. In the meantime, a temporary crown is placed on the tooth to protect it. Finally, the permanent crown is placed and secured onto the tooth with dental cement.
Dental crowns can restore the function and appearance of damaged teeth, allowing patients to chew, speak, and smile with confidence. They can also prevent further damage and decay to the tooth and surrounding teeth.
What's the Main Difference Between Fillings and Crowns?
Dental fillings and dental crowns are both dental treatments used to restore damaged teeth, but they are designed to address different types and degrees of tooth damage. Fillings are typically used to treat minor tooth decay, small cavities, or minor chips or cracks in teeth, whereas crowns are typically used to treat more severe cases of tooth decay, extensive damage, or teeth that have undergone root canal therapy.
Dental fillings are a less invasive and less expensive treatment option for minor damage to teeth. They involve the removal of the damaged or decayed portion of the tooth and filling it with a material such as composite resin, amalgam, or porcelain. The filling material is then shaped and polished to match the contours of the natural tooth.
Fillings are available in different materials, including composite resin, amalgam, and porcelain. Composite resin fillings are tooth-colored and blend in with the natural teeth, making them a popular choice for visible teeth. Amalgam fillings, also known as silver fillings, are made of a mixture of metals and are more durable, but they are more visible than composite resin fillings. Porcelain fillings, also known as inlays or onlays, are custom-made in a dental laboratory and are an ideal choice for larger fillings.
Dental crowns, on the other hand, are designed to restore teeth that have suffered more extensive damage. Crowns are placed over the entire visible portion of the tooth, providing a protective cap that restores the tooth's shape, strength, and function. Crowns are typically made of materials such as porcelain, ceramic, or metal, and they are more durable and longer-lasting than fillings.
There are different types of dental crowns available, including all-ceramic crowns, porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns, and metal crowns. All-ceramic crowns are the most aesthetically pleasing, as they are made entirely of tooth-colored materials that closely mimic the appearance of natural teeth. Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns combine the strength of metal with the appearance of porcelain, making them a good choice for posterior teeth. Metal crowns are the most durable and are often used for posterior teeth that are not visible.
In summary, dental fillings and dental crowns are two different dental treatments used to restore damaged teeth. Fillings are used to treat minor damage, while crowns are used to treat more extensive damage. The choice between a filling and a crown depends on the degree of tooth damage, the location of the tooth, the patient's dental history, and their personal preferences.
Contact Us to Schedule a Dentist Appointment
Ensuring optimal dental health requires proper care and maintenance. At Sherwood Family Dental Clinic in Victoria, we offer a comprehensive range of dental services that aim to prevent dental issues, including fillings and crowns. Our team of highly skilled dental professionals is dedicated to ensuring that you maintain good oral health. Touch base with Sherwood Family Dental Clinic today to schedule an appointment.