Perhaps you have old fillings that need to be replaced, or maybe you have new decay to your tooth that you need to deal with. When you have damage to your tooth that potentially compromises the structural integrity of your tooth, you'll need to decide if you want to repair the damage with a crown or filing. Keep reading for valuable information to assist you with making your decision.
See If Any Portion of the Tooth Needs to Be Removed
One of the first things you should do is talk to your dentist about what needs to be done to the tooth to prepare it for the filling or crown. If the tooth's integrity is structurally compromised or if there's a filling that isn't expected to last much longer before it cracks or breaks, it's unlikely that you'll need to have any of the tooth removed. In these instances, a crown is likely suitable for your needs. Your dentist will place the crown directly over your existing tooth.
However, if you have decay that needs to be removed, a filling may be better for your needs. Your dentist will drill the tooth to remove the decaying portion and refill the portion they removed. The exception is if the decay has affected the nerve of your tooth; in this instance, you'll need a root canal and a crown due to the extent of the damage.
Consider the Size of the Damage to Your Tooth
The amount of your tooth that's damaged will influence whether you should pursue a crown or filling. Crowns are typically recommended when the damage is so extensive that a filling isn't capable of properly repairing the damage. Or if you've lost a portion of your tooth in the past, the crown will work better for restoring your tooth.
Fillings are ideal when the damage is still relatively small. They're a great first line of defense to prevent a small amount of tooth decay from impacting the long-term health of your tooth.
Evaluate Your Own Comfort Level
If you have old, large silver fillings that compromise the majority of your tooth, many dentists recommend fitting these teeth with crowns. The reasoning behind this is that these fillings will eventually crack and need to be replaced.
However, it's ultimately up to you if you want to wait until the filling starts giving you problems or if you prefer to be proactive. Waiting until the filling starts degrading can open up your tooth to further decay, but if you see your dentist regularly, your dentist will likely be able to identify early degradation of your filling. Learn more about dental crowns from your local dentists.