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Understanding Restorative Dentistry: Do I Need A Filling Or A Crown?

Dental fillings and dental crowns are both very effective ways of repairing teeth that have been damaged by decay, cracking, or chipping. However, fillings and crowns are very different. And if you have severely damaged teeth, it’s critical to choose the procedure that’s right for you, and will offer you long-lasting results. Let’s examine the differences, and find advice that will help you choose between these procedures.

Crowns Vs. Fillings: The Basics

Dental Fillings are usually used for teeth with more minor damage caused by decay, or minor chips or cracks. During the filling process, a hole is drilled into the tooth to remove damaged enamel, and a metal amalgam mixture or a ceramic resin is used to fill this area. This allows the tooth to remain intact, and maintains much of the original strength and appearance of the natural tooth.

Dental Crowns, on the other hand, are much more comprehensive. Essentially, a dental crown is a prosthetic tooth that’s molded to fit your mouth, and is installed directly on top of an existing tooth. This makes crowns much better at restoring seriously-damaged teeth. Crowns can provide support and protection to the underlying damaged enamel, and keep your bite functional.

When Is A Crown Better Than A Filling?

Crowns are generally more expensive than fillings, and take longer to install. Because of this, some dental patients prefer fillings, even for applications where a crown would be much more safe and effective.

So when are crowns better than fillings? Here are a few scenarios:


  • You Have Old, Large Fillings – If you have an old, large filling (comprising ⅔ or more of the tooth) your tooth could be at serious risk. Large fillings compromise the structural integrity of your teeth, and can lead to breakage and cracking. Replacing large fillings with crowns can help prevent this.
  • You Have Experienced Serious Tooth Decay – If tooth decay has eaten away much of the enamel in your tooth, chances are that a filling won’t do the job. Because fillings require the removal of healthy enamel, it may be impossible to fill a seriously decayed tooth. In this case, a crown is a much better option. The remaining enamel can be preserved and protected by a dental crown, restoring your mouth to health.
  • You Have Cracked Or Damaged Teeth – While fillings can sometimes be used to restore small chips in teeth, they are not appropriate for restoring cracked or damaged teeth. A dental crown is the best way to cover up, protect, and restore damaged teeth.


The best way to determine whether a crown is appropriate is to discuss your needs with professional dentists, such as Dr. Faulconer, Dr. Dais, and Dr. Underwood of Crossroads Family Dentistry. They will be able to recommend the appropriate solution for your specific needs, and ensure that you get the right treatment.

Come To Crossroads Family Dentistry For Comprehensive And Preventative Dentistry!

If you need dental fillings in Oklahoma, or would like to learn more about replacing old, large fillings with dental crowns, Crossroads Family Dentistry is the right place for you! With over 50 years of combined dental expertise, a deep knowledge of dentistry, and dedication to patient satisfaction. we offer the best comprehensive dentistry services in Oklahoma City.

Whether you’re interested in replacing an old filling, or simply need a new preventative dentistry practice in Oklahoma, contact our team today at (405) 631-0322, send us a message online, or come into our office at 8101 S Walker, Ste D, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73139!

We’re always accepting new patients, and we’d be happy to serve you!

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