Why Do Dentists Recommend Fillings vs. Crowns?


Restore your tooth decay with a dental filling or crown.

When you need dental treatment, it can sometimes be confusing why your dentist recommends one procedure over another. And the most commonly confused dental treatments are fillings and dental crowns. So, we’ve tried to clear the air here by providing you with an overview of why dentists may recommend fillings vs. crowns and vice versa.

The Differences Between Dental Fillings vs. Crowns

Depending on the severity of your dental decay, your dentist may recommend either filling your cavity or covering it with a dental crown. Let’s start by explaining the differences between the two so you can be better informed the next time you are in the dental chair.

Dental Fillings

Dental plaque that is left untreated often leads to cavities. When those cavities are small, your dentist can often remove them by treating them with a dental filling. Unlike a dental crown, fillings don’t require your dentist to take away as much of your dental enamel. Instead, your dentist can remove the decayed dental matter and fill the hole with composite resin or amalgam.

Here is what you should know about dental fillings.

  • Fillings are used when you have minor tooth decay or damage.
  • Like the name implies, dental fillings “fill in” your tooth.
  • No dental impressions are required when you get a filling.

Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are used when a cavity reaches a certain size and the decayed tooth matter is too much to drill out without impacting the structural integrity of your tooth. In these situations, your dentist will need to take a different approach. They will suggest a dental crown to cover the entire visible portion of your tooth above the gumline. This process restores your tooth’s natural strength after your dentist has removed the decayed portion.

The process for a dental crown is a bit more involved than that of a filling. With a traditional crown, you will have to visit the dentist on two different occasions. During the first visit, your dentist will prepare your tooth for a permanent crown and place a temporary one. The permanent crown will then be fabricated off-site. About two weeks later, you will return to the dentist, and they will remove your temporary crown and place the permanent one.

In recent years, though, modern dental technology has come a long way. Now, CEREC same day crowns are available. As the name implies, these crowns can be placed in a single day, making them quite the game changer.

To recap, here is what you should know about dental crowns.

  • Dental crowns treat more significant tooth decay or damage.
  • Dental crowns sit on top of your tooth, covering it completely to make it structurally stronger.
  • Crowns will require a dental impression, but same day dental crowns make the process easier and faster than ever.
  • If you are experiencing severe and consistent tooth pain, your dentist might recommend a root canal in conjunction with dental crown placement. A root canal is used to clean the canals inside of your tooth’s root, thus removing the decay and source of your pain.

The Value of Dental Fillings vs. Crowns

Many of our patients ask us about the value they will receive if they get a filling instead of a crown or vice versa. We explain to patients that fillings are less expensive, but they will not last as long as a dental crown. When a filling is used, but a crown is the better solution, most patients have to return later, especially if the tooth is relatively weak. Thus, it is best to let your dentist fully assess your situation so you are informed and can make the best decision.

However, it is essential to note that, at Tomasik Dental, we care about your oral health, but we also care about your pocketbook. If you don’t need a procedure done, we will not recommend it. If a treatment could go either way, we tell you the pros and cons and let you weigh in on the decision. That’s just one of the many reasons our patients view us as the best dentist in Bee Cave.

Do you think you need a dental filling or crown?

If you are experiencing pain and think you might need a filling or crown, now is the time to request an appointment with Tomasik Family Dental. Our team is dedicated to helping you maintain good oral health, whether you need a filling, a crown, or another restorative dentistry treatment. Our dental team can assess your situation to determine the best solution to treat your dental decay. If you have questions about dental fillings or  crowns, we can answer those too.

We look forward to hearing from you.