Crowns and Filling Dentists in Wyoming, MI

If you have a cavity, you may be wondering whether you’ll need a dental crown or filling. Thankfully, your dentist will be able to walk you through your options so you can make the best choice for your smile. In general, small tooth decay can be treated with a filling, while a significantly decayed tooth may require a dental crown restoration.

There are many pros and cons of dental crowns and fillings, which our dentists at River Ridge Family Dentistry explain in more detail below.

Differences between Dental Crowns and Fillings


  • · Severely damaged or decayed tooth
  • · Covers decayed teeth
  • · Costs more than fillings
  • · Takes 2 dental visits
  • · Requires dental impressions


  • · Minor tooth damage or decay
  • · Fills in decayed teeth
  • · Costs less than dental crowns
  • · Takes 1 dental visit
  • · No dental impressions are needed

When Your Dentist Would Recommend a Crown

Your dentist will recommend porcelain crowns for teeth with significant decay. When most of the tooth has to be drilled out, it doesn’t make sense to use a filling. Amalgam and composite fillings are used when most of the natural tooth material still remains. Dental crowns, on the other hand, are essentially tooth caps that restore the natural appearance and function of your teeth.

Your dentist may also recommend a crown for a tooth made fragile from repeated dental procedures. For example, it’s not uncommon for patients to need a crown after root canal therapy. A root canal crown covers the entire visible portion of the tooth above the gum line. Since a dental crown fits over a tooth, it is more durable and long-lasting than a dental filling.

It’s important to know that the entire dental crown procedure will take two visits. During the first visit, your dentist will prepare the receiving tooth by filing down your natural enamel. That way, the crown will fit over your tooth without looking big or bulky.

Your dentist will also take impressions of your teeth and send them to the lab where your crown will be made. During the second appointment, the dentist will make sure that the color, size, and fit of the crown is right before the final placement.

When Your Dentist Would Recommend a Filling

Your dentist will recommend a tooth filling if they detect a small amount of decay or damage. Like the name suggests, a filling fills in the hole left in your tooth after your dentist drills out decayed tooth material. With a filling, your dentist is able to save as much tooth enamel as possible, which makes it less invasive than getting a dental crown.

A filling only takes one visit to the dentist’s office and is less expensive than what a crown would cost. The cost of teeth fillings is less than crowns because your dentist won’t have to take impressions or have a custom restoration made in a lab. Tooth fillings are made of dental amalgam or composite resin and applied directly to your teeth.

Dr. Helmus DDS at River Ridge Dentistry is dedicated to helping you maintain good oral health by offering quality dental care services. If you have a toothache and need to know whether you need a dental crown or filling, schedule an appointment with our Wyoming family dentist at (616) 538-7320.