At our Manhattan dental practice, our patients sometimes ask us if it might be preferable to have a crown placed over a tooth rather than a dental filling. While these two treatments aren’t identical, they can be an alternative for some patients, depending upon the severity of the decay.
Criteria For Dental Fillings
When a patient has minor dental decay, a dental filling is the logical choice both from a treatment standpoint and a financial one. Once a cavity has developed, we must remove the decayed area of that tooth, both to prevent further decay and to restore stability to the tooth. Through the use of silver amalgam, ceramic, porcelain or a tooth-colored composite, we restore shape to the tooth to ensure a correct bite and avoid further decay in that area. Almost all of our NYC dental patients want to avoid silver amalgams for a variety of reasons, including aesthetic ones.
Criteria for Dental Crowns
If significant decay has weakened a patient’s tooth to the point whereby we believe the tooth cannot support a dental filling, a crown is a logical alternative, as it offers both strength and stability to a tooth. Further, in patients with cracked or broken teeth, whether caused by decay or trauma, a dental extraction can be avoided while preserving as much of the tooth’s structure as possible with a crown. Manhattan dental patients often receive a crown following a root canal to support and strengthen a tooth to avoid damage during chewing.
Applying a crown is a fairly simple matter. For patients with an extensive decayed area in a tooth, we will insert filling materials such as those above in order to create a bigger, more ideal surface on which the crown will be placed. The crown is then cemented to the tooth and becomes a permanent feature in that patient’s oral cavity.
We hope you’re sticking to a twice-a-day brushing and flossing schedule, as well as a twice-yearly visit to our office, to avoid the discomfort, inconvenience and financial investment in a crown or filling. However, if you do experience dental problems, such as tooth pain or sensitivity, schedule an appointment with us so we can treat these concerns while they’re still small!