How Dental Crowns & Fillings are Different

Dental Crowns Dentist Grand Rapids, MI

Dental Crowns Dentist Grand Rapids, MIDental crowns and fillings are both capable of repairing damage done to teeth. However, there are differences between the two that could determine which one our dentists recommend during your next appointment. In this blog post, our dentists will go over the pros and cons of tooth crowns and fillings so you can feel more informed and confident when seeking dental treatments.

Dental Crowns vs. Fillings

When You Need a Crown

When your teeth are severely damaged or decayed, you’re better off spending the extra money for a dental crown. Dental crowns are different from fillings because they cover the entire visible portion of your tooth above the gum line. In fact, some of our patients call them “tooth caps.”For intensive tooth repair, a filling wouldn’t be capable of properly restoring the tooth to its natural function and appearance.

Dental crowns help protect the underlying tooth enamel from experiencing further damage and sensitivity. Since crowns cap your underlying teeth, they are more durable and usually last for longer periods of time than dental fillings. One of our dentists will be able to advise you on whether a crown is necessary for the amount of tooth damage present. Teeth that have been weakened by repeated restorative dental treatments may also benefit by being fitted for dental crowns.

When You Need a Filling

Small cavities often call for fillings. If the damage done to the tooth is minimal, you might be able to get away with just having a filling done. Fillings can be preferred over dental crowns because they are completed within a single visit to our office. Unlike dental crowns, our dentists will not need to take impressions of your teeth in order to do fillings. This means that your treatment will take less time and cost less money.

Like the name suggests, cavity fillings are able to fill in small areas in your tooth that have decayed or otherwise been damaged. Many patients appreciate fillings because they are less invasive than dental crowns.

To prepare a tooth for a porcelain crown, the natural tooth structure must be filed down so the crown can easily fit over top. With fillings, you are preserving as much tooth as possible to fill in only those areas that are damaged. White fillings also match the color of your natural tooth enamel which is perfect for teeth that show when you smile and talk.

Quick Comparison of Crowns & Fillings


  • Treats severely damaged or decayed tooth
  • Takes 2 dental visits
  • More expensive
  • Requires impressions
  • Covers decayed teeth

  • Treats minor tooth damage or decay
  • Takes 1 dental visit
  • More affordable
  • No impressions needed
  • Fills in decayed teeth

When deciding the best dental procedure for your tooth, you’ll need to consult with one of our dentists. From their prior experience treating patients, they’ll be able to determine whether the damage is severe enough to warrant a dental crown procedure or if you’ll be able to get away with a filling. Even if the damage done to the tooth is minimal, some patients choose porcelain crowns for their durability. Ultimately, the choice will need to be discussed by you and one of our dentists.

Our dentistsare dedicated to providing patients with the highest level of dental care. We are proud to offer a range of restorative and cosmetic dental services that include crowns, fillings, dental bridges, and porcelain veneers. If you are interested in our cosmetic dentistry services, call Contemporary Family Dental to schedule an appointment with our dentists in Grand Rapids MI at (616) 209-3969.