“Can’t ya just fill it?”

A common question that we hear all the time from patients is just that. Why do I need a crown? Can’t you just fill the tooth? Dental fillings have their limitations. A filling is meant to fill in a hole in your tooth, not to rebuild the tooth structure. A tooth-colored (or composite) filling is bonded to the tooth structure and uses mechanical and chemical retention. The old silver fillings (amalgam fillings) solely used mechanical retention, and their success was based on how much tooth structure was able to support them. A crown helps to hold the tooth together and supports the tooth. A crown preparation removes any decay or fracture lines that weaken the tooth. Then, a lab-made crown replaces the natural anatomical crown part of a tooth. Trying to stretch the limitations of a filling is like trying to spackle a wall back together after a car ran through it!!

Dr Macalik always tries to be as conservative as possible and use as much of the viable tooth structure as possible. But there are times when a filling just wont get the job done.

porcelain dental crown
Example of an Older Dental Crown