Dental fillings do not last forever. When they reach the end of their expected lifespan, it’s time to consider some treatment alternatives. Usually it’s best to switch to a crown. Unlike a filling, a crown covers and protects a damaged tooth and can stop it from breaking.
The filling needs a strong remaining tooth walls to hold it in place. A crown does not need a strong walls because it has its own wall. To have a filling is like to fix your flat tire with a “plug.” To have a crown is like to have it fixed with a “patch.” The plug seals a small defect and the patch repairs the larger tear.
Generally, if the leading edges of small fillings have broken, they have lost their seal. Our Houston dentist can replace the old filling with the new one as long as most of the tooth is still intact. When width of the defective area is greater than 50% of the tooth’s width, it is better to replace it with a new crown.
Although the fee of the crown is more than that of the filling, it may save you money in the long run. When the strength of the tooth is compromised and the tooth is not properly restored with a crown, the whole tooth may break. Such problem not only causes serious trauma to the body, it also needs expensive dental work such as a bridge and an implant.
Sometimes, because of financial reason, emergency, or pulp’s uncertain status, our Houston dentist can temporary fix the large defective tooth with a sedative filling. This is only a temporary measure and this temporary sedative filling needs a permanent crown in 6 to 8 weeks.