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Victor R. Siegel, DDS

Dental Crowns vs. Fillings: Which Restoration Is Right for Me?

By Victor Siegel on November 04, 2015

A tooth and its root structureDr. Victor R. Siegel is a leading dentist in the Rockville area, offering comprehensive general dentistry to fight tooth decay and gum disease. He often achieves excellent results when addressing tooth decay of varying degrees.

We've fielded a number of questions from patients who've wondered if dental fillings are better than dental crowns and vice versa. Let's go over the basics of these two restorations and then weigh in on the matter.

About Dental Fillings

Dental fillings are small restorations that are used to address minor cavities and traditional tooth decay. The filling does just what you'd expect based on its name: it fills in the damaged tooth structure that has been affected by tooth decay. With a filling in place, the strength of a tooth is restored, allowing patients to bite and chew without fear of breaking the tooth or developing a root canal infection.

Dental fillings come in tooth-colored form made of composite materials and silver form made of a special metal amalgam. The ideal type of filling to use will depend on the location of the cavity and the tooth that has been affected.

Ideal Candidates for Dental Fillings

The best candidates for dental fillings are people who have cavities or moderate tooth decay. It's a standard treatment used to address the damage done by cavities, and it's best that a filling be placed rather than a more advanced tooth decay whenever possible.

About Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are more substantial types of restorations that are reserved for major tooth damage and tooth decay. A dental crown caps an entire tooth, protecting it from further harm, alleviating pain associated with tooth damage, and restoring a patient's ability to bite and chew as they normally would.

Like dental fillings, crowns can be tooth-colored or made of metal. In general, the tooth-colored dental crowns are more ideal for the prominent/front teeth. These crowns are sturdy and blend in rather well with your natural teeth. Metal fillings, meanwhile, tend to be better for the molars and premolars since they are hidden from view and these restored teeth will need to be more durable since they are responsible for a lot of the chewing.

Ideal Candidates for Dental Crowns

The best candidates for dental crowns are people who have experienced major tooth decay that cannot be treated using less substantial kinds of dental restorations. There should still be enough healthy tooth structure remaining to support the crown when it is in place. If that is not the case, a dentist may recommend extraction of the decayed tooth instead.

Extent of Damage and Decay Will Determine the Ideal Restoration

Ultimately, dental crowns are not necessarily better or worse than dental fillings. This is a situation-by-situation matter, and the extent of the tooth decay will determine which kind of restoration is best to treat a patient's tooth. During your visit, we can determine which kind of restoration would be most ideal for you and your needs.

Learn More About Dental Crowns and Fillings

To learn more about dental fillings, dental crowns, and your many other options for addressing tooth decay and tooth damage, be sure to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Victor R. Siegel and the entire team here will work with you to ensure you have the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible.

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Victor R. Siegel, DDS

16815 Crabbs Branch Way
Rockville, MD 20855

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

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