I have several small cavities on four of my front teeth. They are pretty small and my dentist was just watching them until this year but now they "crossed over" and need to be fixed. She does a lot of cosmetic dentistry and she said I should just get crowns on them, because it's not good to put fillings on front teeth and I would have to replace them eventually with crowns. Of course it costs a lot of money but I can do it if the results are worth it. But it does seem pretty radical to me...
Crown on Front Teeth Instead of Fillings?
Doctor Answers (7)
Crowns or Fillings
Whether or not to do crowns would depend on how many fillings are needed per tooth and how large these fillings would be. If the cavities are small, I'd be inclined to start with tooth colored fillings. You can always have crowns later.
Fillings instead of crowns for front teeth
You stated that the cavities "just crossed over". If this is in fact the case then I would definitely recommend redoing the fillings rather than crowning. Keep you natural enamel and wait for the future to get crowns. If in fact that decay is bigger then you can always get a second opinion as to your options
Fillings or crowns- a fine line
Smaller cavities can be readily fixed with a filling. Once the decay becomes too large, it is best to protect the tooth from breaking down further with a crown. Ask your dentist if you have lost enough natural tooth structure to warrant a crown.
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If the decay small, fillings are better. However, if there are many to do per tooth and the decay is large, crowns MAY be a good option.
Crowns not necessary for small cavities
If the cavities are small and there is still plenty of healthy tooth structure, there is no need for crowns. These can be easily filled with natural-looking tooth-colored filling materials called composites, also known as bonding which are very strong and durable if properly done.
Crowns vs Fillings on Front Teeth
The ideal time to do fillings on any tooth is when the decay is small. The decay should not be "watched" as it grows. That being said, i would chose small fillings over crowns. The longer you can put off the crowns, the better, since they will probably have to be redone a few times over your lifetime.
Don't Crown instead of fillings
Ask yourself why the decay?
Is there any underlying causes or change in diet, acid reflux etc?
Crowns will not protect against decay but simply cover your tooth. Small fillings will fail eventually but not for a long time and they can be replaced. Sure crowns can look better but they are more damaging to your tooth and that will affect its lifespan.
To keep your teeth for longest possible time be conservative with treatment and if appearance is paramount look at bleaching with fillings.
These answers are for educational purposes and should not be relied upon as a substitute for medical advice you may receive from your physician. If you have a medical emergency, please call 911. These answers do not constitute or initiate a patient/doctor relationship.