When Dr. Baier has found that one or multiples of your teeth have been compromised or damaged by decay, he may choose to use a filling or a crown to repair it. There are some differences to consider when evaluating your options.
When repairing a small area of decay, a filling is a great option. A filling can be completed in a single appointment and is often less expensive than a crown. The cavity can be filled with a material called composite, which mimics the tooth’s natural shade and sheen. Once completed, the filling should stop the decay and keep the tooth healthy for a number of years. Drawbacks of a filling can be a shorter comparative lifespan, and potential long term issues like recurring decay and cracking.
Unfortunately, even after a tooth has been restored with a filling, sometimes decay can reappear and compromise the structure of the tooth once again. Over time, bacteria works its way into the areas of the tooth surrounding and supporting the filling, and the tooth begins to deteriorate as a result. As the decay worsens, the tooth continues to weaken, which can result in cracking, pain and potentially tooth breakage or loss. If caught early enough, the decay can typically be removed and the tooth re-filled or crowned. However, if left untreated, more serious procedures might be needed such as a root canal, bridge or dental implant.
Placing a crown is best when a tooth has been weakened by extensive decay, injury, or deterioration of a large filling. A crown procedure involves reducing the surface area of the whole tooth to remove the decay, and then covering it entirely with a restoration made of ceramic or composite. Crowns are more durable and last longer than a filling, and protect teeth from fracturing over time.
In the right circumstances, both a filling and a crown are excellent solutions for repairing decayed or damaged teeth. Regardless of your oral health status, delaying your dental treatment is never the best option as it allows dental health problems to progress and worsen. After completing a thorough exam, Dr. Baier can discuss your unique needs and consult with you about your best options for taking charge of your dental health by creating your individual treatment plan.