What to Expect When You’re Expecting a Crown or Filling

At Downtown Franklin Family Dentistry, we understand dental procedures can sometimes feel daunting, especially when you’re not entirely sure what to expect. One common question patients face is whether a crown or filling will address the dental issue. Both treatments serve to restore the integrity of a tooth, but they differ in various aspects, including their procedures, longevity, and functionality. 

Key Differences and Considerations

  • Durability: Crowns are more durable than larger fillings and provide greater protection for weakened or damaged teeth.
  • Longevity: While both options can last for many years with proper care, crowns typically have a longer lifespan.
  • Functionality: Crowns are better suited for teeth that undergo significant pressure from chewing and/or teeth that have had root canal treatment, whereas fillings may not offer sufficient protection in such cases.
  • Material and Shape: Crowns fully cover the remaining visible tooth structure and they can be made from a variety of materials. Fillings are exactly what their name implies. The missing tooth structure is filled with a composite resin that’s the same color as the tooth.

Both crowns and fillings are effective treatments for restoring damaged teeth. The choice between the two depends on the extent of the damage, the location of the affected tooth, and other individual factors. During your consultation at Downtown Franklin Family Dentistry, Dr. Abrams will carefully evaluate your dental needs and recommend the most appropriate treatment option for you.

Regardless of if you’re getting a filling or a crown, the first step is the same. During your initial consultation, X-rays will be taken to get a clearer picture of the affected area. Dr. Abrams will then review the X-rays and perform a thorough examination of your mouth. Based on his assessment of the extent of the damage, he’ll review the options with you and his recommendation for your best result. 

Dental Filling Procedure

When your tooth sustains damage from decay and/or trauma, a filling might be recommended to restore its structure and function. Here’s what you can expect during the process, which takes about 30-60 minutes, depending on the complexity of the damage.

 

  1. Getting Comfortable: The first step and our highest priority is to ensure you’re comfortable. Dr. Abrams will apply a numbing gel on your gums, followed by an anesthetic injection to numb the area around the tooth. This takes a few minutes to kick in.
  2. Removing Decay and Damage: To prepare the tooth for a filling, the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth must be removed. The cavity will then be cleaned thoroughly to ensure no bacteria remains.
  3. Filling the Cavity: Once the tooth is prepared, the filling material will be placed into the cavity in layers. Each layer is hardened with a special light before adding the next layer.
  4. Shaping and Polishing: After the filling is in place, we will shape and polish the tooth to ensure a natural appearance and a comfortable bite so that it doesn’t affect your chewing.

Dental Crown Procedure

 

A dental crown is often recommended for more extensive damage or when a filling may not provide sufficient support. Here’s what the crown procedure typically involves. The first two steps are very similar in preparing your tooth for a filling and the whole process will take place over two appointments.

 

First Visit

  1. Getting Comfortable: Helping you get comfortable is always our first step and highest priority. Dr. Abrams will apply a numbing gel on your gums, followed by an anesthetic injection to numb the area around the tooth. It then takes a few minutes before it’s effective.
  2. Preparing the Tooth: Next, we will take a very quick impression of your tooth in order to fabricate a temporary crown at the end of your visit. Similar to a filling, the affected tooth will be prepared by removing any decay or damage.  We will then place a filling or core build-up. However, in the case of a crown, more of the tooth’s structure is removed to create the space where the crown sits.
  3. Taking scans: Once the tooth is prepared, a digital scan of your teeth will be taken to create a custom-fit crown. These scans are made using a state-of-the-art camera to take pictures that will ensure the crown is made to fit snugly and comfortably over the tooth. Dr. Abrams is pleased to provide the latest technology that makes this process faster and less bothersome for his patients.
  4. Making and Placing Temporary Crown: While your permanent crown is being fabricated off site, a temporary crown will be made during this appointment and will be placed over the prepared tooth to protect it.

 

Second Visit

  1. Returning for Permanent Crown: Once your custom crown is ready, you’ll return to our office to have it placed. 
  2. Fitting and Cementing the Crown: The temporary crown will be removed, and the permanent crown will be carefully fitted and cemented into place. Depending on what will make you most comfortable, you may be numbed again before we start this process.
  3. Checking the Fit and Your Bite: Once the new crown is in place, Dr. Abrams will review how it fits and make any necessary adjustments to ensure it is comfortable and works properly in conjunction with your other teeth.

 

If you have any further questions or would like to schedule an appointment, please don’t hesitate to contact us at Downtown Franklin Family Dentistry. We look forward to helping you achieve a healthy, beautiful smile!

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