Can my tooth be restored with a filling versus a dental crown?

If it common for patients ask if their dentist can restore their tooth with a large filling versus getting a dental crown.

The main reason why dentists recommend dental crowns as a treatment option, is because there is little tooth structure left, once the old filling and cavity is removed. If you restore the tooth with “just another filling,” there is a significant chance the filling will break, or worse, more of the tooth will break.

Dental crowns protect the teeth from further breakdown. Your teeth are subjected to cracks everyday with just normal wear and tear. Arguably dentists can crown all of our teeth due to cracks…but they don’t do that. Dentists look to only crown the teeth that are weak and subjected to fractures.

In my own experience, I’m finding that most dental insurances today do not cover a tooth that breaks if a filling in that tooth was placed less than 2 years ago! So you run the risk of not getting coverage for a dental crown, if your newly placed “large filling” breaks. So with this in mind, sometimes by having your dentist do a filling, they are not saving the patient any money or time should break within 2 years.

If the filling covers more than 1/2 of the tooth, you most likely would benefit from something stronger.

The tooth featured in this picture had a “large filling”. The tooth cracked, not the filling. If this filling was done less than 2 years ago, the patient’s [media-credit id=14 align=”alignright” width=”350″]filling versus a dental crown[/media-credit]insurance would not cover for it to be repaired or replaced. In this situation, the patient has to pay the full cost of the crown because the original treatment plan compromised on a weaker restoration.

It is important to understand why teeth in certain cases should be crowned and the associated risk of fractures. Discuss treatment options with your dentist and ensure that you are getting the best dental care for the long-term health of your smile.