Skip to Content
chevron-left chevron-right chevron-up chevron-right chevron-left arrow-back star phone quote checkbox-checked search wrench info shield play connection mobile coin-dollar spoon-knife ticket pushpin location gift fire feed bubbles home heart calendar price-tag credit-card clock envelop facebook instagram twitter youtube pinterest yelp google reddit linkedin envelope bbb pinterest homeadvisor angies

At some point in your life, you may find yourself with a tooth that has become decayed or fractured. Your dentist is likely to suggest either a filling or a dental crown to address the damage. Which type of dental restoration is truly the best choice for your situation? To properly answer that question, it’s necessary to look at the differences between fillings and crowns.Teeth animation

What Is a Filling?

A filling is used to replace any damaged parts of the structure of a given tooth. Some people may remember a time when fillings were primarily made out of metal, but that’s not necessarily the case nowadays. For many dentists, composite resin is the filling material of choice; not only does it provide a highly lifelike appearance, but it can help support the tooth from within.

Unlike dental crowns, fillings don’t require your dentist to take impressions. They also tend to be more conservative in terms of how much enamel needs to be removed for the restoration to be placed. And when it comes to cost, fillings tend to be the more affordable option.

What Is a Dental Crown?

A dental crown completely covers a natural tooth. Many crowns are made out of porcelain and other materials that can mimic the color and light-reflecting properties of tooth enamel. The traditional process of getting a dental crown usually requires a minimum of two appointments. However, some practices have adopted the state-of-the-art CEREC system, which allows them to create and place crowns in just one day.

Dental crowns typically offer more strength than fillings, and they also tend to last longer. On top of that, since they cover the whole tooth, they offer better protection against further damage.

Fillings vs. Dental Crowns: Which Will Your Dentist Recommend?

When it comes to fillings and crowns, the option that your dentist suggests will depend heavily on the specifics of your situation.

A filling will typically be your best choice if the decayed or damaged area is relatively small. However, for more severe issues – such as a crack in the tooth – a crown might be required instead.

Your dentist will always examine the tooth in question carefully and consider all of the available options. Then they will let you know what type of restoration they recommend for your case and explain the pros and cons of the treatment. You’ll be given all the information you need to make the right decision for your smile.

Regardless of whether you need a crown or a filling, you can count on both to restore the health of your smile and help you avoid further issues.

About the Author

Dr. Mark Gray went to the University of Texas Dental School, graduating in 1983. He currently leads the Houston chapter of the CEREC study club. His current practice in Houston offers lifelike tooth-colored fillings as well as long-lasting crowns. To schedule a consultation with Dr. Gray, visit his website or call 281-493-9395.