August 15, 2013
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What is a Crown and why a Crown instead of a Filling?

A crown is a replacement for the visible part of a tooth.  If a tooth has been compromised and has a lot of it missing, then a crown can be placed on the remaining tooth structure to prevent future damage and the tooth is restored to its original shape and appearance.  If there is a significant tooth crack, it may be suggested to do a crown so this crack cannot extend resulting in loss of the tooth. The crown will act like a plaster on a broken arm.

Crowns completely surround the remaining tooth, structurally bracing it, making the tooth crown combination stronger than the damaged tooth on its own.

Teeth may be broken due to being fractured, having dental decay or are just “worn” down. If large fillings are present then a tooth becomes more likely to fracture and a crown may be suggested.

A filling basically fills in a hole that has been made in a tooth after removing decay from it. If the hole is small enough, a filling will suffice to restore it to normal function and appearance.  Although a filling does have limitations, the filling does not really make a tooth stronger.  The tooth must be able to function under normal biting stresses with whatever structural parts of the tooth are left intact.  But, if the size of the filling becomes large, making the tooth more filling than tooth, then the tooth would have more strength and a better long-term prognosis being restored with a crown.  Filling it is like comparing trying to fill an eggshell with cement.     

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E. John Baron DDS, INC.
550 Water Street, Suite L-1
Santa Cruz, CA 95060
(831) 426-9200

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