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
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
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.