Maintaining good oral health is essential for a confident smile and your overall well-being. However, dental issues can arise from time to time, requiring appropriate restorative dentistry treatments. When faced with tooth damage or decay, it can be challenging to determine the best course of action. You may be wondering: How do I know if I need a tooth crown, a dental filling, or a tooth extraction?
Well, as a patient, it isn’t always easy to know which is right for you. That’s why it is important to visit a knowledgeable and skilled dentist in Dallas, TX, to help you choose the right treatments for your oral health, aesthetic goals, and budget.
At Lakewood Dental Group, our team of experienced providers can recommend a tooth crown, dental filling, tooth extraction, or other treatments based on your unique needs. If you’d like to discuss your options with a trusted professional, contact Drs. Mihir Patel and Shaun Sigurdson at (214) 827-1885 for more information and appointment scheduling.
In this blog, we explore tooth crowns, dental fillings, and tooth extractions. By providing a brief overview of each treatment and shedding light on when they are typically recommended, you can make an informed decision about your oral health. In turn, you can optimally restore your smile and improve your quality of life.
A dental filling (sometimes called a tooth filling or dental bonding) is a common restorative dentistry procedure that dentists can use to treat tooth decay or minor tooth damage (like chips and cracks).
The dental filling process involves removing any decayed or damaged portions of the tooth before filling the resulting cavity with a long-lasting dental material. Typically, dentists use a tooth-colored composite resin substance or a metallic amalgam as dental fillings. Both materials are durable and intended to last for years to come. However, most patients prefer composite resin fillings to amalgam fillings, as amalgam fillings are more noticeable than tooth-colored resin.
For the most part, dentists often recommend dental fillings when the tooth structure is still relatively intact and can support the restoration. In some cases, however, the tooth structure may be too compromised to support a dental filling. Instead, another restoration or procedure may be ideal.
Dental fillings are suitable for addressing cavities, small cracks, or chips in the teeth. The procedure is typically straightforward and can be completed in a single dental visit. Your dentist can help you choose the best materials for your smile and budget.
Depending on the material used and the extent of the treatment, a single dental filling may cost between $200 and $600 (without insurance). While this may seem pricey, dentists intend for fillings to last for at least a decade without replacement.
A tooth crown (also known as a dental crown or cap) is a restorative dental treatment that covers the entire visible portion of a damaged tooth. Unlike dental fillings, dentists can use crowns when the tooth structure is extensively damaged, weakened, or at risk of further deterioration.
Dental professionals can personalize tooth caps to match the shape, size, and color of the patient’s natural tooth. Not only do crowns restore a patient’s oral and overall aesthetics, but they also provide unparalleled strength and protection against further dental damage.
A dentist may recommend tooth crowns for teeth with severe decay, large fractures, or after a root canal treatment. Dentists can also use caps to support dental bridges or cover dental implants.
Getting a dental crown may require multiple appointments. First, the dentist must reshape the tooth, take oral impressions, and then cover the reshaped tooth with a temporary crown. A dental lab must fabricate the final restoration, which can take a week or longer. Once the final restoration is complete, then patients can schedule an appointment for permanent placement.
Dental providers intend for crowns to last upwards of a decade. Because they require more planning and effort than fillings, patients can expect a single crown to run them roughly $1,000 without insurance.
Dental extractions are the removal of teeth from their sockets in the jawbone. Typically, dentists only consider extractions when they believe that no other treatments will restore the tooth. This means that a tooth must be extensively damaged, decayed beyond repair, or causing significant pain or infection before a dentist will consider pulling a tooth.
Tooth extractions may also be necessary for orthodontic purposes. For example, it may be necessary to pull a tooth before getting braces to create space for the treatment. Likewise, dentists may recommend extractions to remove impacted wisdom teeth.
Dental professionals can perform extractions on both primary and permanent teeth. In some cases, dentists can conduct a simple extraction under local anesthesia. However, surgical extractions may be required for impacted or severely damaged teeth.
After tooth extraction, dental professionals may recommend options for tooth replacement, such as dental implants, bridges, or dentures. These dental prostheses can comfortably and seamlessly restore the function and appearance of the missing tooth.
Making the Right Decision
Determining whether a dental filling, tooth crown, or tooth extraction is necessary requires a professional evaluation by a dentist. A dentist will consider various factors, including:
- The extent of the damage
- Tooth location
- The patient’s oral health
- The long-term prognosis of the tooth
In some cases, damage may not be visible to the naked eye. Therefore, x-rays and clinical examinations can aid your dentist in making an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan.
If you notice damage or feel increasing tooth sensitivity, contact a dentist as soon as possible. Early intervention can help preserve more of the tooth’s natural structure, thereby preventing further complications.
As a general rule, dental experts recommend attending regular dental check-ups and practicing good oral hygiene to prevent issues and receive proactive care.
Restore Your Smile with a Custom-Made Tooth Crown in Dallas, TX
When faced with tooth damage or decay, knowing when to consider a dental filling, crown, or tooth extraction is essential. Consulting with a dental professional is the best way to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for your smile. So, don’t wait–schedule an appointment at Lakewood Dental Group online here, or call our team at (214) 827-1885 to book your appointment now!