Can I Get a Filling Instead of a Crown?

When facing dental issues, many patients ask whether they can opt for a filling instead of a crown. This decision can be challenging, especially considering cost, procedure time, and dental health. In this blog, we’ll explore the scenarios in which a filling might be sufficient and when a dental crown is necessary, particularly focusing on options like a dental crown near you.

What are Dental Fillings and Crowns, and What Do They Do?

Dental fillings and crowns are two fundamental dental restorations to repair damaged teeth and restore oral health. Each performs a unique purpose and is suited for different types of tooth damage.

Dental Fillings:

Dental fillings repair minor damages, such as small cavities or tooth decay. When a tooth develops a cavity, the degraded portion is removed, filling the area with a filling material. This process restores the tooth’s integrity and prevents further decay. The materials used for fillings include:

  • Amalgam: A strong, long-lasting blend of metals, ideal for fillings in the back teeth where much force is exerted during chewing.
  • Composite Resins: Tooth-colored materials that blend seamlessly with the natural tooth, preferred for visible parts of the teeth.
  • Gold Fillings: Durable and biocompatible, but more expensive and noticeable than other types.
  • Ceramic Fillings: Crafted from porcelain, these are colored to match teeth and exhibit greater resistance to stains and wear compared to composite resin.

Dental Crowns:

  • Conversely, a dental crown is employed in situations where a tooth has sustained considerable damage, weakness, or decay. These crowns are tailor-made to encompass the entire tooth, beginning right at the gum line. They prove beneficial when the integrity of the tooth is undermined and a simple filling won’t suffice. The uses of crowns include:Restoring a tooth that is severely worn down or broken.
  • Protecting a weak tooth from breaking, especially after a large filling or root canal treatment.
  • Encasing and reinforcing a tooth that has a substantial filling, especially when the remaining tooth structure is minimal.
  • Holding a dental bridge in place.
  • Covering misshapen or severely discolored teeth.
  • Covering a dental implant.

The materials used for crowns include porcelain, ceramic, metal alloys, or a combination of these materials. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to the color of your natural teeth, offering a more aesthetic solution.

Both fillings and crowns play a crucial role in dental restoration. While fillings are typically used for smaller repairs, crowns solve more extensive damage. The choice between a filling and a crown depends on the extent of tooth damage and the patient’s specific needs.

When is a Filling Appropriate?

Fillings are ideal for small cavities where the tooth structure is largely intact. They are a quick, cost-effective solution for minor tooth decay. The procedure is relatively simple, and recovery is usually quick, making it a convenient option for patients seeking prompt dental care in 20707.

When is a Crown Necessary?

A crown becomes necessary when the tooth is extensively decayed or fractured. A crown can provide the necessary protection and strength if a tooth has a large filling or has undergone root canal therapy. The procedure for a crown is more involved than a filling, requiring at least two visits to the dentist in Laurel, MD.

What Are The Pros and Cons of Fillings vs. Crowns?

Fillings are less expensive and require less time in the dentist’s chair. However, they might not be as durable as crowns and are better suited for small repairs. While more costly and time-consuming, Crowns offer a long-term solution for severely damaged teeth and can be more aesthetically pleasing.

Making the Right Decision:

Choosing between a filling and a crown should be made in consultation with a dental professional. At Laurel Smiles Dental Care, the dentists assess each case individually, considering the patient’s dental history and current condition to recommend the best course of action.

Caring for Your Teeth Post-procedure

Whether you choose a filling or a crown, maintaining good oral hygiene post-procedure is crucial. Regular brushing, flossing, and dental check-ups are essential to prolong the life of your dental work and maintain overall oral health.


Deciding between a filling and a crown can be a complex decision. It’s important to consult a trusted dentist who can provide personalized advice based on your dental needs. If you’re looking for a dentist in Laurel, consider contacting our professional dentist for a consultation. Remember, the right dental care can significantly impact your oral health and overall well-being.

Visit Our Dental Clinic Near You

If you’re in the 20707 area and facing this decision, don’t hesitate to contact a professional for guidance. Schedule your appointment today to discuss whether a filling or a crown is the right choice for you. Your dental health is a priority, and making an advised decision is the first step towards a healthier, happier smile.