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If you recently visited your dentist and he said you needed either a crown or a filling, you probably have a few questions. First of all, you probably want to know the difference between a crown and a filling. Perhaps you want to know if the two dental services are interchangeable. While both are considered restorative treatments, crowns and fillings provide services for two different dental needs. Let’s take a look at some of the differences between a crown and a filling.

Dental Crown

Crowns are typically recommended for patients that have sustained damage to their tooth either from trauma or decay. Crowns are mainly recommended when the structure of the tooth has become compromised. A dental crown covers the entirety of the tooth from your gum line all the way to its chewing surface. Dental crowns have to cover the tooth entirely to hold the structure of the tooth together and offer additional support. If your tooth needs a dental crown and you decide against treating it, this often leads to extraction of the tooth as a result. Dental crowns are also recommended if a root canal is needed. Mostly, it helps to absorb most of the force caused by chewing.


Typically, fillings are recommended for patients with a chip or cavity on their tooth. The damage is “filled in “in order to keep decay and bacteria out. This helps to maintain the natural structure of the tooth. Fillings do an excellent job of sealing the tooth but seldom provide extra structural stability to prevent further splitting or fractures. Fillings give your dentist an additional treatment option that helps improve the appearance of your teeth. It can be used to fill in gaps, cover chips, or even improve the shape of your tooth to produce a perfect looking smile.

While both dental crowns and fillings help fix damaged teeth, they provide two different services. Dental crowns are needed for teeth that have sustained an injury to the structure of the tooth. Alternatively, fillings are used to fill in chips or cavities and help keep bacteria out. They also prevent the tooth from decaying. Fillings are essentially used as a treatment before needing dental crowns.

Don’t let tooth pain or decay get out of hand. Take care of your teeth by having them cleaned regularly by a professional along with daily personal hygiene. For more information on how to look after your teeth, or to schedule an appointment, contact Dr. Ross at 559-732-3972.