A guide to tooth cavities and treatment procedures

Our teeth are a precious tool and it needs the best of care for it’s effective utilization. Human teeth have a biting force of upto 50psi which is a force enough to bite down a carrot or even tear apart a piece of meat. If the teeth are not taken good care of, issues such as carries, cavities and plaque buildup can completely ruin our teeth. All this leads to enormous expenses and extensive confusions between choosing a health plan, choosing whether to go for a crown v/s filling and choosing a right dentist.

Humans are essentially carnivorous and therefore our teeth are designed in a way fitting enough for anything between soft vegetables to tear apart a chunky piece of steak. The initial part of our digestion is enabled through the chewing of our food and therefore our teeth aid in not just chewing up food but also effectively digesting it.

If not for our varied range of tooth types, our chewing capabilities would be limited and be similar to nocturnal animals that can only eat a few kinds of food. Herbivores are found to have softer more wider teeth whereas carnivorous animals are found to have sharp canines that help pierce through the meat. Our teeth are slightly skewed towards the latter but with a healthy mix of molars and premolars that are wider and softer that help in churning up soft food and easily chew up hard meats as well.

Dental hygiene and its importance

It is important to note that each tool needs its annual maintenance and that is the same with our teeth. It is safe to assume that our teeth act as a tool for the human body and therefore oral and dental hygiene is pivotal to keep everything in perfect shape. A regular visit to your dentist is the first and foremost step towards dental hygiene. Six months is the ideal time within which you must visit your dentist to keep a tab on how your teeth are doing and if they need any upkeep.

Common problems that need to be looked for are tooth decays, gum infections, tooth staining, scaling requirements and oral cleanups. The most important of them all are the ones relating to tooth decay as this one of the most common as well as the most sophisticated part of our dental hygiene. A human tooth is made of 4 layers - the pulp being the softest part that has nerves, blood vessels and connective tissues, the other 3 layers are Dentin, Cementum and Enamel. These are harder tissues that form the protective layer to the innermost part of the tooth.

Tooth Decay and its Causes

Tooth Decay is caused when you eat food that can stick to your teeth and cause a build up of germs. This includes food like toffee, candy, icecreams, sugary drinks, cheesy snacks and salty fast food. Sugar is harmful for the teeth and can cause permanent damage to the enamel if left uncleaned. Oral hygiene is one of the most important factors when it comes to tooth decay. The bacteria causes the teeth to rot and attacks the dentin and exposes the tooth to risks from plague acids. If left untreated, the tooth can cause severe pain and cause permanent damage to the tooth and the tooth pulp.

Tooth Crowns v/s Fillings

Tooth fillings, roots canals and tooth crowns are the various methods that are available to deal with this impending disaster that befalls almost all of us. Thanks to modern medicine and dentistry, there are numerous ways to counter tooth decay. The most prominent of these are crowns and fillings and it is quite a task to choose between a crown v/s filling.

Tooth Filling

Tooth Filling is the most basic and the most preliminary treatment to a tooth decay. This is done when the patient's tooth has a considerably small area that needs to be cleaned from decay and plaque buildup. The decay is removed and the filling made of composite resin, silver and gold amalgam, porcelain etc. This is the most basic procedure that can be done to the tooth if the tooth decay is detected at an early stage.

Tooth Crowns

Tooth Crowns are a gift of modern medicine and technology. The crown is an artificial material such as porcelain, ceramic, metal or even gold, that looks and behaves like a tooth. This crown is fused onto the treated tooth that has the decay. It sits on top of a cleaned out tooth just like a normal tooth and functions like it. It is a fairly painless, long lasing and an assured treatment for tooth decays. The only constraint to tooth crowns is that they are quite expensive and may require multiple sessions to complete the procedure.

Evaluating Tooth Crowns v/s Fillings

There are some basic similarities between the two procedures but an ocean wide difference as well. It depends on the situation of the tooth and the furtherance of the decay on the tooth. Some major points to consider when evaluating tooth crowns v/s fillings are:

  • If the tooth decay is detected at a much early stage then tooth filling would be the most fitting as well as the cheapest option to go for
  • If the tooth decay has eaten its way into the dentin and causes infection to the base of the root exposing the root to inflammation and further infection, then a tooth crown would be your safest bet
  • When a tooth has been chipped or is slightly broken or has a slight fracture this can be easily fixed with a tooth filling
  • When a tooth has had multiple fillings and most of its natural element has been dug up, then a tooth crown would remain to be your only option
  • When the structural integrity of the tooth is at question due to the level of infection or the damage caused to the root of the tooth, a dentist would recommend to get a tooth crown
  • A tooth filling stays intact anywhere between 5 to 15 years with continual upkeep and regular check up and oral hygiene
  • Dental fillings are quite inexpensive and minor faults that reappear can also be fixed with simple fillings later on
  • Tooth Crowns can last a very long time, upto 20 years even and need no supervision once placed on the tooth. They are quite sturdy and strong therefore need no replacement in most cases



Based on the level of decay and the dentists recommendation, one can easily make a choice when it comes to tooth crowns v/s fillings. However there is no denying the fact that both of them are effective and foolproof solutions for fixing tooth decays.