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Filling a tooth does just that, it fills the area where part of the tooth is missing. The filling material is held in place by what is left of the original tooth. 


When there is too little of the original tooth left, the filling placed becomes unpredictable. Some large fillings may last quite a while, some do not last at all. There is no way to know what will happen other than to place the filling and take a chance on what happens. 


More reliably, a crown (cap) holds on to the remaining original tooth structure. While there are too many variables to predict exactly how long a crown or a filling will last, a crown will last notably longer.


Choosing a filling is not choosing bad treatment, it is just unpredictable. If the filling lasts forever you did not need a crown. If it does not last you can get the crown knowing there is no other choice.


One important exception to consider:


Teeth that are to be crowned do not necessarily require root canal treatment first. However, if a tooth requires a root canal there is an additional, significant reason for choosing a crown rather than a filling to restore the tooth once the root canal is completed.


A tooth that has required any treatment (even a small filling) may eventually fracture. If a root canal has been necessary and the tooth fractures it will generally break along the root of the tooth. The tooth can't be restored if this happens. So, even though the root canal has been successful the tooth is lost and even more treatment is needed to replace it. A crown will help prevent such root fracture, a filling will not.


At your convenience, let’s meet and discuss if a crown is right for you.