Quick, think of any 10 people — family, friends, celebrities — anyone at all.
Got it. Statistically, at least 9 of those people will have tooth decay during their lives.
Knowing this, where do you think you would fall on someone else’s list? With the nine who will get cavities or the lucky one who won’t?
If it were up to us, no one who visits First Dental Associates would ever have a cavity. In the real world, tooth decay will affect many families and individuals in and around Reading, MA.
Knowing this, we want you to be ready. We want you to understand what you can do if you or someone you love ever has a cavity.
That may include getting a dental filling or a dental crown.
What is a Dental Filling?
For a long time, metal fillings were the standard, but we are happy to say we have a better option for you.
Our tooth-colored dental fillings are perhaps the simplest restorative treatment. After removing the decay, we can repair your tooth by filling the cavity with a composite resin. This resin can be shaded to match the natural color of your tooth.
Unlike gold or amalgam fillings, our composite fillings will look like a natural part of your tooth. You won’t have any reason to feel self-conscious about your smile with our white fillings.
If you already have metal fillings from an old cavity, we can replace it with one of our tooth-colored fillings. From a functional standpoint, you don’t need to replace the filling until it is chipped, cracked, or worn down. However, let us know if you would prefer to replace it sooner for cosmetic reasons, and we’ll work with you.
While the materials used to make fillings have improved, there’s still no such thing as a permanent filling. All filling wear down over time, which makes it important to keep making regular dental appointments.
This way we can keep an eye on your fillings as well as the health of your teeth.
What is a Dental Crown?
As convenient as fillings can be, they are not always the best option for fixing a decayed tooth.
In time, a tooth may become too weak from repeated treatment for another filling to work. Similarly, a filling may not be enough to restore a tooth that has been damaged by a large cavity.
A dental crown, however, is the perfect solution. Crowns are like caps for your teeth.
To prepared a decayed tooth to receive a crown, the first step is removing the decay, just as we would for a filling.
Additionally, we use the remaining healthy parts of the tooth to form an abutment. This is where the crown will be attached to the tooth.
Our zirconia, e.max, and Lava crowns are all-ceramic and look like a real tooth when they are cemented to your tooth. They also are more durable than fillings.
How Will You Fix Your Cavity?
Ideally, you won’t need to fix a decayed tooth. Having a good daily oral hygiene routine and getting regular checkups at First Dental Associates can reduce your risk of decay or increase the odds that we will spot it in the early stages.
To decide between a dental crown vs. a filling, you will need to consider the overall condition of your tooth. The sooner you seek help, the more likely you are to need the simpler solution.