Wisdom Teeth: Removal, Maintenance and Cavity Prevention

4 Reasons to Treat a Cavity with a Filling Instead of a Crown

Even people who take good care of their oral health may develop cavities, but the good news is that your dentist can restore the affected tooth to prevent any further decay. The most common treatment options are fillings and crowns. Fillings are made from materials that bond to your tooth to fill the cavity, whereas crowns are a kind of false tooth that is placed over a damaged tooth.

Both options can restore a tooth that has suffered a cavity, and it will often be up to your dentist to choose which treatment is best. However, you may sometimes be able to choose between getting a filling or a crown, so it makes sense to understand the relative benefits and drawbacks.

With that in mind, here are just four reasons to consider getting a dental filling instead of a crown.

1. Faster Process 

Most people prefer to minimize the amount of time they need to spend in the dentist's chair. If you're one of them, a filling is likely to appeal over a crown. With a filling, only one dental visit is required. In contrast, a crown will require at least two. Additionally, it takes longer for a crown to be placed since an impression of your mouth needs to be taken and then a custom crown needs to be made.

2. Less Invasive

When a tooth needs to be covered by a crown, it must be trimmed down. As such, getting a crown is a more invasive procedure than getting a filling. That might be necessary for treating major cavities, but removing natural tooth structure in order to place a crown may be detrimental when you only need to treat a minor cavity.

3. Easier Cleaning

When you have a filling, you don't need to make any changes to your oral healthcare routine, which makes it easy to prevent further decay in the future. However, crowns are often a little trickier. Many patients find that crowned teeth are more difficult to clean. Cleaning around the gum line is often especially tricky, and failing to clean properly around the gum line can increase your risk of developing gum disease.

4. Lower Cost

Since fillings can be fitted easily in just one dental visit and don't require impressions to be taken or custom artificial teeth to be made, they tend to be much less expensive. If cost is a concern and damage is not extensive enough to require a crown, a filling is probably going to be more attractive.