Sequoia Family Dental

What is the difference between a filling and a crown?

Fillings and crowns are similar in the sense that both are ways of restoring a tooth to repair decay and prevent further damage. Typically the deciding factor is how much tooth structure is compromised. For a filling, the decayed tooth structure is removed, the remaining structure is cleaned, and the cleaned out cavity is then filled with composite (white) filling material. A filling appointment takes one visit to complete. A crown is recommended when a filling can't replace enough of the tooth or make the tooth strong enough. Crowns are also necessary after root canal treatment. The process for a crown takes two visits. First the tooth is shaped by the doctor with a handpiece, an impression is taken, and a temporary crown is put in place. The impression is sent to a dental laboratory where the crown is fabricated. After 2-3 weeks, the permanent crown is cemented in place. Unlike the filling, a crown covers the entire tooth, like a hat. Whether you need a filling or a crown, Dr. Tran will be sure to answer any treatment questions and discuss which option is best for you.

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