Just because your tooth has become damaged from decay or an injury doesn’t mean that you need to go the rest of your life without it. There are a variety of different tooth restoration options out there that are used to restore teeth that have been harmed in the past. Two common options are dental crowns and fillings, but how do you know which one is right for you? A dentist explains the difference between the two.
How Do Dental Fillings Work?
Dental fillings are used in order to treat minor damage to the teeth. For example, small cavities can be repaired with a filling as well as some small fractures. The first step involves your dentist administering a local anesthetic if needed so that you feel comfortable throughout the duration of the treatment. Next, your dentist will prepare your tooth by removing any damaged parts and apply an acid gel to clean the area and remove lingering bacteria or debris. The filling material is then added to the tooth. This can be done with a variety of different materials including porcelain, amalgam, composite resin, and gold. Today, dentists typically use a tooth-colored composite resin for the most effective results.
How Do Dental Crowns Work?
Dental crowns work by restoring damaged teeth as well, but they are quite a bit different. Crowns are covers or “caps” that are placed over your damaged teeth. They help to restore damage and replace missing teeth to their original size, shape, and function. Here are a few reasons why they may be the best option:
- To protect a tooth that has a large filling and not enough natural tooth structure.
- Attach a bridge to replace a missing tooth.
- Protect a weak tooth from experiencing further damage.
- Restore a fractured tooth.
- Cover a misshapen tooth.
- Attach to a dental implant.
Dental crowns can be made from metal alloys, ceramics, porcelain, porcelain fused to metal, or composite resin. Today, they are made to be the right size, shape, and color to blend in with the rest of your smile.
Your teeth are very strong, but they are still susceptible to damage. With restorations like fillings and dental crowns, they can be saved! This way, you can keep your smile healthy down the road!
About the Author
Dr. Tyler Aten earned his dental doctorate from the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine and completed a General Practice Residency at St. Francis Hospital in Hartford, CT. Since then, he has obtained several certifications, including sedation dentistry, Invisalign, dental implants, and other techniques. For more information on dental restorations or to schedule an appointment at his office in South Burlington, visit his website or call (802) 863-3950.