Dental health is one of the most important no thanks to all the junk food and beverages we intake on a daily basis. An average teenager consumes salty, cheesy, greasy and sugary foods over 10 times a week when compared to an adult. Those who have high sugar intakes such as teengars and young adults with no underlying conditions are putting their health at risk as sugar and junk food are the main causes of tooth decay and cavities. This is a growing concern for most dental and oral hygienists as kids and young adults these days do not take their dental hygiene seriously and this can cause severe implications on their teeth in the long run. Another main concern with dental procedures is to know when is a tooth crown required instead of a tooth filling. We will be discussing these further below.
How does one get a Tooth Decay?
Tooth is basically made of calcium just like our bones. But unlike bones, teeth have several connective tissues, blood vessels and veins that make it a sensitive part of our mouth. Teeth are susceptible to exterior damage when you bite down too hard or consume extremely hot or cold food or switch between the both simultaneously. Sugar is a major factor as the plague deposits left behind by sugar are further attacked by the microbes in our mouth which cause the rotting and settling of food material on the teeth. These then slowly eat away the enamel and the dentin of the teeth and cause cavities and decays on the teeth. A cavity can be quite harmless in the beginning and mostly invisible but can slowly eat away the teeth and if left untreated can cause you major burns in the pocket as you try to fix your teeth. It is therefore recommended to visit a dental hygienist once every 6 months.
Dental Procedures to repair a tooth decay
Thanks to the advent in technology and dental science, there are numerous methods that one can adopt to correct a tooth decay. Some of these are cost effective and less invasive but require regular upkeep. Some are costly but a one-time procedure that stays true for a long time. Some patients who face issues are forever concerned as to when is a crown needed instead of a filling.
Root Canal and Tooth Crowns
Root Canal is one of the most trusted methodologies to treat a tooth that has had a lot of damage. If the size of the decay is far too big or too deep, in this case a dentist would recommend getting a root canal done. A root canal essentially requires deep cleaning to the root of the teeth, removing debris and decay and cleaning out the surface of the teeth. The tooth is also shaved down so that a new artificial tooth, also known as a tooth crown, which feels and looks just like the pre-existing tooth can be fitted right on top of it. This procedure is a foolproof method for those who have severe tooth decay that has reached the root or in cases where the integrity of the teeth is questionable. If the tooth itself is fat too weak, then a root canal needs to be done so that the teeth can be replaced by a new set of teeth.
Dental filling is a non-invasive small technique that is painless and requires just about a couple of hours. This technique is useful for those who have detected tooth decay at its onset and have very little mending to do. Even those who have considerable damage but have sturdy and strong teeth can opt for dental filling. The main advantage with dental filling is that it's cheap, quick and can be topped up as and when required. A dental filling can stay true for as long as 15 years with regular maintenance and good upkeep. Dental fillings are made of teeth resembling material such as composite resin and in some cases, porcelain and silver/gold amalgams.
When is a Tooth Crown needed instead of a Dental Filling?
- A tooth crown is made of porcelain or metal fused with porcelain and can be placed on top of your existing tooth. This crown protects the damaged tooth from taking any more impacts due to its structural disintegrity
- A tooth filling is recommended for those who have minor tooth decay or damage that needs a filling to shape up to be a whole tooth again. Dental fillings can be done only for minor damages.
- A tooth crown can be optional for those who have misaligned, discoloured or disfigured tooth. The tooth crown can be made to mimic the original tooth structure and can be used to perfectly realign your teeth.
- Root canal treatments that are done to damaged teeth are always followed up with tooth crowns. Therefore those who have extreme tooth decay or issues with the tooth with regards to strength, a tooth crown is indispensable in this case.
- Dental fillings are temporary and can last for a few years but it requires the tooth to be strong from within. Sometimes, a filling may come off and would need to be redone.
- Tooth crowns are more like a one-time investment. It needs less upkeep and almost close to 0 maintenance. Although they are expensive, they are a one-stop solution for dental problems.
- If a tooth is broken, chipped or suffers from a fracture, in this case the degree of damage done to the tooth has to be analysed. If the tooth is partially broken with its strength still intact, a filling can be more than enough
- However, if the tooth is fractured and suffers serious damage, then a tooth crown would be your best option as this kind of tooth cannot survive impacts of grinding and chewing and cause severe pain and further damage later on. In such cases, a tooth crown is the best option where the tooth is reduced by a drill and a new crown is made to perfectly fit the space and function.
If you are confused as to when is a crown needed instead of a filling, these points can help you understand the same and decide. With reference to the above discussed points, it is easy to understand and arrive at what procedure one needs to adopt for fixing their tooth issues. A dentist can help you in understanding your issues and then recommend the perfect solution for your problem.