Can I Have a Filling Instead of a Crown?
When appropriate, we recommend dental crowns to protect and support your teeth. One of the most common questions we get is, “Can I have a filling instead of a crown?” The fact is that crowns and fillings do two very different jobs and are not always interchangeable.
We use fillings to “fill in” areas of your teeth that we remove due to decay or because of a chip. We can even use the same materials that we use in fillings to close the gap in your smile and make small repairs to your teeth. Fillings are most effective when they are smaller and do not absorb much force from chewing. They are also helpful for filling cavities in the chewing surfaces of teeth. They cannot replace broken cusps or large fractures because they simply do not offer that level of support.
Crowns, on the other hand, completely cover your teeth offering greater stability and support. Since they surround your natural tooth structure, they can protect teeth that have cracks or fractures, making them more stable for chewing. We recommend crowns on molar teeth that have a compromised structure because a filling does nothing to keep your teeth together. Without a dental crown, your tooth might split or crack, causing pain, tooth loss, or infection requiring a root canal.
We want you to feel comfortable with the treatment we recommend. We will always present you with all of your options and help you make the decision that will work best for you. We encourage you to ask questions and share concerns about potential treatment options so that we can find alternatives or explain your treatment to you. In our dental offices, you always come first!
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