Crowns or Fillings – Which is a Better Choice?

Crown Dentist In Troy, MI

Crowns and fillings are both effective dental treatments, but which one is a better choice for your oral health? Well, it depends. Each dental treatmenthas its own time and place in which it would be the best option.

Ultimately, our Troy dentists will choose what’s best for your situation, but it can’t hurt to learn more about crowns and fillings. Let’s take a look at the differences of the two and figure out which one is a better choice for your oral health.

Crowns vs. Fillings


  • Used for severely damaged or decayed tooth
  • More expensive
  • Completed in 2 dental visits
  • Covers decayed teeth
  • Requires impressions


  • Minor tooth damage or decay
  • More affordable
  • Completed in 1 dental visit
  • Fills in decayed teeth
  • No impressions required
  • No recovery time

When Crowns Are the Best Choice

Crowns are best suited for severely damaged and weakened teeth, though they can be used for minor damage as well. In cases where the tooth has a lot of damage, a filling would not be enough to properly restore the tooth. 

Instead, a crown would be used for the job. Dental crowns are caps that cover decayed or cracked teeth. They protect the tooth from experiencing any further damage and sensitivity. When it comes to durability, crowns take the cake over tooth fillings. Because of this and the need for impressions, tooth crowns tend to be more expensive than fillings.

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.

An experienced dentist 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.

In order to apply a dental crown, we’ll need to custom-make the tooth cap to fit your smile. Then, the natural tooth will be shaved down so that the crown can fit over it. This can take two appointments to complete. 

When Fillings Are the Best Choice

Fillings are meant for teeth that have minor tooth decay or damage. So, if you only have a small cavity or chip in your tooth, getting a tooth filling would make the most sense. You can, however, still get a crown if you’d like, but the downside is the higher cost. 

Like the name suggests, cavity fillings are made out of dental amalgam or composite resin and fill in small areas in your tooth that have decayed or been otherwise damaged. Many patients appreciate fillings because they are less invasive than dental crowns

During the procedure, a qualified dental professional will drill to remove any decayed tooth matter and will then fill in the tooth with dental amalgam or composite resin. Unlike crowns, fillings only take one visit to complete. And because the process is not as involved, the cost of fillings is significantly less than that of crowns.

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

The recovery period for a filling is short. After any local anesthetic has worn off, you should be able to eat and speak normally. Some minor sensitivity is normal right after your appointment, but it should dissipate fairly quickly.

As you can see, there really isn’t a clear-cut winner when it comes to fillings and crowns. Each oral treatment has its own set of advantages and disadvantages. It all comes down to your specific situation and how much time and money you’re willing to invest. 

Talk to our local dentists about which option would be the best for your particular case to ensure that you’re getting the proper oral health treatment for you and your teeth.

Make an Appointment Today! 

If you are in need of learning more about effective dental treatments, feel free to call our Troy, MI dental office at (248) 528-2270. At Mosaic Dental, our dental specialists welcome the opportunity to help you improve the health of your teeth!

This post has been updated.