Crown VS. Filling: Which One Do You Need? 

Are you looking for ways to prevent your tooth decay from getting worse? A crown or filling could potentially treat your dental problem, but the procedures are not the same.

In order to repair the hole in your tooth and stop decay, a filling contains tooth-colored composite resin. A dental crown, on the other hand, is a cap that goes over a broken tooth and protects the whole tooth structure.

So, how do you know if your tooth needs a crown or a filling? This article will help you understand what they are, how they’re done, and the differences between crown vs. filling. It is to help you make an informed decision about your dental problem.

Additionally, a dentist in Edina, MN, can create a medical assistance plan that fits your particular needs, whether you’re considering a crown or filling.

Ready? Keep reading to learn more!

Filling vs Crown

What Is A Dental Crown?

What Is A Dental Crown

A dental crown, also called a dental cap, is a protective cap covering a tooth that is worn, broken, or chipped when fillings fail to fix the issue.

It is used to keep a damaged tooth from worsening and fix your bite or appearance. Not only can it make your smile look better, but it can also prevent tooth decay in the future.

Dental crowns are made from various materials like glass, porcelain, metals, and ceramics. This gives the tooth more strength and durability, making them a long-lasting solution for people with dental problems.

How Are Dental Crowns Done In The Tooth? 

Most of the time, you are required to visit the dentist twice to get a dental crown. At your first visit, the dentist will give you an anesthetic to numb your mouth and prepare the tooth for the crown.

It means they will remove any decay and shave down the tooth so that the crown will fit when put in.

Next, your dentist will take an impression of the prepped tooth (either by using a mold or a digital scan). You’ll be sent home with a temporary crown covering your tooth while the lab constructs the crown using the impression taken.

Usually, your second visit comes after two weeks. During this appointment, your dentist will remove the temporary crown, replace it with your custom-made permanent crown, and put it onto your tooth.

Your dentist will carefully check the crown’s fit, appearance, and comfort to ensure it looks and feels like your natural teeth.

When everything looks good, your dentist will glue the crown onto your tooth using dental cement or adhesive. That’s it! You’re done, and your smile looks great.

What Is A Dental Filling?

A dental filling is a way to fix a small hole in a tooth, sometimes known as a cavity. A dentist will first remove your decayed tooth tissue from the cavity before putting it with a filling material. These fillings are made of gold, porcelain, silver amalgam, and composite resin.

Like crowns, fillings can help you avoid tooth decay in the future by sealing the places where bacteria can get in. It allows your tooth to recover and return to its normal condition.

However, fillings do wear out over time. Depending on the material you choose, they last at least 5 to 15 years.

How Are Dental Fillings Done In The Tooth? 

Before the dentist starts the procedure, they will numb the affected area so you won’t feel any pain. Then, they’ll use some tools, like a drill or laser, to gently remove any decay or damage from the tooth. Don’t worry. You can usually complete the procedure in just one visit!

Next, the dentist will prepare the tooth for the filling. If the cavity is close to the root of the tooth, they may add a protective layer to shield the nerves before placing the actual filling.

Once everything is ready, the dentist will place the filling in layers and use a special light to harden each layer. Finally, they’ll polish the tooth to make it smooth and shiny.

There are a few different materials that can be used for fillings, like gold, silver amalgam, composite resin, or porcelain. Your dentist can help you choose the best option for your specific needs.

The Differences Between Crown vs. Filling

The Differences Between Crown vs. Filling

When caring for your teeth, it’s important to know the difference between a crown and a filling since they are used to treat different dental issues. Let’s find out how fillings vs. crowns differ from one another:

Dental Crown

  • It fixes teeth that are broken or badly decayed. 
  • Dental crowns are more expensive than fillings.
  • It will take 2 dental visits to complete the process.
  • It requires impressions of your teeth.
  • If your tooth is cracked, a crown can help hold it together. 
  • When a root canal is needed, crowns are also suggested.
  • A crown covers and protects your entire damaged tooth. It also strengthens your tooth. 
  • It is also for patients whose teeth have been hurt in an accident or by trauma or whose teeth have lost some of their structure. 

Dental Fillings

  • Dental fillings are cheaper than crowns.
  • It only fixes minor decay or chips.
  • It will help your tooth recover and return to its natural form.
  • It only takes 1 visit to complete the process.
  • It doesn’t need your dental impression.
  • Fillings are suggested for patients with chips or cavities to prevent decay and bacteria from entering and preserve natural tooth structure.

When Do You Need A Crown vs. Filling? 

So, if you’re wondering when your teeth need a crown vs. filling, the answer will depend on how badly your tooth is damaged.

If the hole is small and hasn’t done much damage, a filling is probably the best way to fix it.

If the damage is more serious, like a large cavity or a cracked tooth, you may need a crown to fix the function and look of the tooth. Your dentist can tell you how bad the damage is and suggest the best way to fix it.

It’s important to keep in mind that both fillings and crowns are meant to fix your teeth and keep them from getting worse. Checkups and cleanings at the dentist can help keep you from needing a lot of dental work in the future.


Deciding between a dental crown vs. filling can be difficult, requiring careful considering various factors. 

Dental fillings are frequently a less painful and cheap treatment for smaller cavities. But, for larger cavities or more severe tooth damage, a dental crown may be necessary for optimal repair and long-term oral health.

In the end, speaking with your trusted dental expert is the best way to choose the dental procedure that is ideal for you. Your dentist can help you through the decision-making process.