A tooth that is overly sensitive or painful when biting down could need restorative dental treatment. Restorative dentistry protects and repairs teeth that have been damaged from decay, injuries, or infection.
Dr. Thomas Tang restores natural teeth with dental fillings and dental crowns, which protect and support the damaged tooth. To understand the difference between these treatments - dental crowns vs. fillings - and learn which may be best suited to your case, contact our Brookfield, WI practice.
Treating a Vulnerable Tooth
Teeth that have suffered from decay due to harmful oral bacteria have small holes in the outer layers of enamel. These are commonly known as cavities. This decay must be treated so it does not grow or spread.
Additionally, a tooth that is fractured or cracked from an accident or injury requires restoration to protect the vulnerable inner tissues from becoming infected.
Two restorative methods that treat these issues are dental fillings and dental crowns.
Fillings are used for small areas of restoration. Dr. Tang exclusively uses tooth-colored, or composite, fillings. These fillings blend in seamlessly with your natural tooth so no one will be able to tell you have had a cavity filled.
In addition, composite fillings contain no sensitivity-causing metals or mercury. Though the amount of mercury in amalgam (or metal fillings) has been deemed safe by the American Dental Association, our practice prefers to use composite fillings.
Composite fillings can last for several years before needing to be replaced.
Dental crowns are mostly used for restoring a tooth that has suffered more extensive decay or damage, and is more vulnerable to additional damage.
Dental crowns act as a protective cap, covering the visible crown of the tooth in a hard, ceramic layer. These are long-lasting tooth restorations that can be placed by Dr. Tang in just a couple appointments.
Our full-tooth coverings are created from medical-grade ceramic porcelain and create a non-porous barrier between the delicate inner tooth and the outside forces of the mouth, including oral bacteria, temperature fluctuations, and biting pressure.
Once placed, your dental crown can hold up to regular eating and drinking, and will have a seamless color and glossy finish as that of a natural tooth. Proper oral hygiene habits combined with regular dental cleanings and exams can extend the life of your crown up to 20 years.
The Best Treatment for You
Dr. Tang can determine which restorative treatment is best for you. Usually, this is decided by taking into account:
- The size of the decay or damage: Larger areas of decay or damage (such as a crack or fracture) will require more restorative support than a small cavity. Many cavities, if caught early, can be treated with a small composite filling, with no need for a dental crown.
- Condition of the tooth: If the tooth has existing composite fillings, or is showing signs of weakened outer enamel, Dr. Tang may repair the tooth with a dental crown to help prevent additional decay or damage.
- The location of the restoration: Dental crowns may be the preferred treatment method in an area of heavy pressure (such as a molar used for biting and chewing). However, areas of decay or damage away from high impact areas may be more easily restored through a filling.
Schedule Your Consultation
Do not let tooth pain or sensitivity go untreated. By having your teeth examined now, you can prevent more invasive restorative procedures down the road. Contact us online or call us at (262) 821-1000 to schedule your appointment at our office.