Dental Fillings vs. Crowns

The sooner you see one of our dentists in Ann Arbor, MI, the more likely we’ll be able to repair your tooth with a simple filling. The alternative is waiting and needing a crown, root canal, or tooth extraction.

Dental Crowns Vs Fillings Ann Arbor Mi Dentists

Here are the major differences between fillings vs. crowns.

Fillings vs. Crowns

Our Ann Arbor dentists use both dental fillings and crowns to restore teeth. However, what procedure you need will depend on the extent of damage to the tooth.

Fillings Crowns
Treats minor tooth injury or decay Treats major tooth injury or decay
Fills in decayed teeth Covers teeth
Completed in 1 dental visit Completed in 2 dental visits
No impressions Requires impressions
More affordable More expensive

Direct vs. Indirect Restorations

It takes one appointment to get a filling, but two for dental crown treatment. That’s because a dental crown is what we call an “indirect” restoration.

Labs use impressions of your teeth and gums to create dental crowns. This is an indirect process because they make your crown before it’s ever held up to your mouth. Once your crown is ready, you’ll need to return to our office so one of our dentists can bond it to your tooth.

For fillings, our dentists mold and shape composite resin right onto teeth. This is why fillings are “direct” restorations.

When Do I Need a Dental Crown?

Our dentists may recommend the dental crown procedure if a filling isn’t enough to restore your tooth. For example, you may need a dental crown to restore a tooth with a deep crack or cavity.

A porcelain dental crown fits over your entire tooth like a cap, from the chewing surface to the edge of your gums. This restores both the strength and appearance of your tooth. A crown also protects your tooth from further damage.

Crowns are much more durable than fillings. However, we also have to remove more tooth structure to place them. Of course, this may not be as much of an issue if most of your tooth structure isn’t salvageable.

Related: What’s Considered a Dental Emergency? →

When Should I Get a Filling?

We may recommend a dental filling to restore a tooth with a small cavity. Once we remove the decayed tooth structure, we would then fill in the hole with composite resin. This filling restores your tooth and prevents further decay.

We do everything in our power to detect cavities early. That way, we can restore your tooth with a small filling. A filling lets you keep more of your natural tooth structure than a crown.


Cavity fillings are less invasive, but this doesn’t mean they’re always the right choice. For example, you may need a crown if your tooth is weak from a large filling. Likewise, a filling helps you save as much tooth structure as possible.

Consult with one of our dentists in Ann Arbor, MI, to determine which treatment is right for you. They would be more than happy to help you explore the pros and cons of each option. We’ll give you all the information you need to choose between dental fillings vs. crowns.

Learn More About Fillings vs. Crowns!

Our priority has always been helping our patients. When you come in for your appointment, our sole focus will be on helping you restore your oral health. As a family dental practice, we’re rewarded by the smiles on our patients’ faces.

Don’t ignore a painful tooth! Our dentists offer both dental crowns and fillings to restore your smile. But first, you’ll need to call Enhance Dental. To request an appointment with one of our dentists in Ann Arbor, MI, call (734) 821-7676.

This blog post has been updated.

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