Dental Fillings vs. Crowns: What Are the Differences?

Have you ever wondered about the differences between dental fillings and crowns? Read on to learn more about both procedures and the ailments that they treat. Hopefully, this guide can provide a more basic understanding of restorative dentistry and alleviate the stress of dentist visits!

Dental Fillings

A dental filling is a restorative treatment that treats early to moderate tooth decay. When performing a filling, your dentist will ensure that you are numb and comfortable prior to working on your tooth. The dentist will drill out the decayed area of the tooth and ensure the underlying tooth is clean and healthy. Afterwards, the filling will be placed into the tooth and shaped to match the contours of a natural tooth, allowing your tooth to function normally afterwards. Nowadays, filling material is typically a resin composite or tooth colored filling, however there are still instances in which a silver or amalgam filling may be the better option. The dental filling process is only 20 minutes to an hour long and involves basic localized anesthetics, making it a quick and easy operation for nervous and busy patients. Most importantly, a dental filling ensures continued health for your tooth and smile overall!

Dental Crowns

Similar to fillings, dental crowns are also a form of restorative dentistry, but reserved for more serious instances of tooth decay or fractures where a large portion of the tooth may be missing. In these instances, simply doing a “filling” would result in a high risk of your tooth breaking or fracturing, as there is typically not enough tooth structure to support the filling material. In contrast, dental crowns fit entirely over your tooth and therefore protect the underlying tooth structure. Crowns are done by shaping your tooth circumferentially, then making an impression to have a permanent crown made by the lab. Patients will leave the office with a temporary crown in place for about two weeks. Once the final crown returns from the expert lab technicians, we will confirm the fit, shape and color of your crown prior to cementing it into place. By placing a crown, we are able to protect the weakened tooth under the crown and allow patients to chew and eat without fear! Dental crown procedures involve more prep work before the actual operation, which typically lasts 30 to 90 minutes.

What Are the Differences?

As you can see, dental fillings treat small damages, while crowns aim to rectify severe complications. However, there are many other important differences you should know beforehand. Since dental crowns are designed for more serious problems, these procedures are often more time-consuming and expensive.

By understanding the differences between dental fillings and crowns, you can eliminate some of those pre-dentist nerves and enjoy a smooth experience. Contact our friendly team today to secure a nice and helpful family dentist in Bellevue. We’re eager to find the ideal solutions to ensure beautiful smiles for you and your whole family!