Typically, when a dentist finds a cavity on a tooth, he or she will recommend fixing it with a dental filling. There are times, tough, when a filling is not enough to fix the problem. A dental crown will cost a lot more, which is why you probably would prefer a filling, but there are reasons dentists recommend crowns instead of fillings in certain cases. Here are two main reasons your dentist might be telling you that you need a crown instead of a filling.
You have too many fillings on that tooth
If you have a tooth that has been filled several times, there will come a time when a dentist can no longer add any more fillings. This occurs for several reasons, including:
- There is a broken cusp – Most molar teeth have two cusps, which are parts of the teeth that extend higher than the rest of the tooth. When a tooth has had multiple fillings, part of one or both cusps might be broken or missing. There is virtually no way to create new cusps on a tooth, which is why your dentist might recommend a crown.
- There is too much composite material – Composite material is used to fill a hole after decay is removed. The problem with adding more composite to a tooth that has already been filled is that the composite material doesn't adhere well to composite material. This means that if a dentist fills the tooth again, there is a good chance the filling will fall out.
If you have too many fillings on a tooth, another filling will be prone to failure if added to this tooth.
The tooth has way too much decay
The second main reason your dentist might be recommending a crown instead of a filling is if the cavity is too large to fill. If the cavity is covering a good portion of your tooth, removing the decay will weaken the tooth too much. If a filling is used, it may not last long, and it may fall out.
Covering the tooth with a crown is often the best option for a tooth that is consumed with decay. The crown will cover the entire tooth, which will protect it. This is often the only way to save a severely decayed tooth.
You will have to pay more for a crown, but you can also be certain that this tooth will be safe from future harm. To learn more about your options, visit a family dentist today.