Do I Need a Crown or a Tooth-Colored Filling?

The numbers surrounding tooth decay are nothing short of eye-opening. Notably, 91% of Americans ages 20 and over have had cavities at some point in their lives and 27% of adults have untreated caries. 

At Peninsula Dental Excellence, our team, under the direction of Dr. Jeff Yoshihara and Dr. Colin Au, offers comprehensive restorative dentistry services that aim to preserve your teeth in the face of tooth decay and gum disease. As first lines of defense against decay, we provide both tooth-colored fillings and dental crowns.

To help you determine which approach is right for your restorative dentistry needs, here’s a look at the roles that tooth-colored fillings and dental crowns play in your dental health.

Fillings — first line of defense

If you keep up with your regular dental exams year over year, we’re able to catch tooth decay in its earliest stages, which is always best. When tooth decay first takes hold, it typically only affects a small portion of your tooth and we’re able to go in and clear out the affected area and fill in the cavity with a filling.

To give you an idea about how common fillings are, the average American has three dental fillings and 25% of the population has 11 or more fillings.

The goal of a filling is to preserve your tooth’s structure and function while also stopping the spread of decay. While there are many different types of fillings, if you’d prefer not to flash metal when you smile, we suggest tooth-colored fillings.

As the name implies, we design your tooth-colored fillings to fit in seamlessly with your teeth so that the filling isn’t noticeable to the naked eye, allowing you to smile freely and confidently.

Bring in the crown

A dental crown is a cap that we place over your tooth to protect it. The materials we use are strong and mimic your surrounding teeth so that you’re able to eat, speak, and smile with ease. 

In most cases, we turn to a dental crown when there’s been extensive damage to your tooth because of decay or dental work. A good rule of thumb, though not absolute, is that if 50% or more of your tooth is compromised, a dental crown may be the best option for restoring form and function to your tooth.

If you’re worried about a lengthy process for getting a crown, the good news is that we offer same-day crowns with our in-house CEREC technology. This means that we can restore your tooth in just one visit as you don’t have to wait for an outside lab to custom manufacture your crown.

The bottom line is that the choice between tooth-colored fillings and a dental crown largely depends upon the integrity of your tooth after we remove the damaged portions. Rest assured that both approaches work extremely well in restoring your tooth, giving you something to smile about for years to come.

If you need dental restorations, contact our office in Mountain View, California, to learn more about your options.

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