Repairing Oral Damage with Dental Fillings vs. Dental Crowns

Prevention is one of the biggest goals of professional dental care. General dentistry services are meant to preserve the strength and health of the teeth so oral complications do not develop. In reality, we understand that this goal may not always be achieved. Most people will be in need of restorative dentistry services at some point in their lifetime. Restorative dentistry treatments rebuild a stronger, healthier smile by restoring damaged tooth enamel. These services allow our patients to preserve oral functions and maintain the beauty of their smile.

For the most effective treatment, it is important to determine which restorative technique is most appropriate for each of our dental patient’s unique situations. Two of the most common restorative dentistry treatments are dental fillings and dental crowns. Dr. Lauren Shanard will consider dental fillings vs. dental crowns for each of her Williston, VT patients to determine which will most successfully restore a strong, healthy smile.


Dental fillings use a direct bonding technique to strengthen a tooth that has suffered from minor decay. Direct bonding means that the composite filling material is applied and shaped directly to the tooth. Dr. Shanard uses tooth-colored materials to rebuild tooth structure that has been destroyed by plaque and tartar.

Prior to applying this bonding material, the tooth will be cleaned to remove bacteria, plaque, tartar, and damaged tooth enamel. Dental filling treatment is quick and effective. However, patients should know that the applications of a dental filling are limited. Dental fillings are really only capable of treating minor cases of decay, those commonly known as dental cavities. If tooth damage is more substantial than this, it is likely that a dental crown will be necessary.


Dental crowns are larger than dental fillings, so they can address more significant cases of tooth decay, as well as other oral health problems. Dental crowns use an indirect bonding technique to restore a damaged tooth. This means that the dental crown is fabricated in a dental laboratory and then bonded to the tooth when it is complete. Dental crowns are often referred to as caps. A cap is an accurate description because the dental crown sits over the tooth and surrounds all of its visible surfaces. It is because a dental crown completely encompasses a tooth in this way that it has so many uses. Below are some of the oral health problems that can be corrected with a dental crown:

  • Advanced tooth decay
  • Severe cosmetic blemishes
  • Root canal infection (crowns are used during root canal therapy to provide an added layer of strength and protection to the treated tooth)
  • Tooth loss (crowns can be used to support a dental bridge, or as a restoration for a dental implant)

The numerous applications of a dental crown make it a suitable treatment option for many of Dr. Shanard’s patients.


Both dental fillings and dental crowns are excellent restorations that allow our patients to rebuild a strong, healthy smile. If you’d like to restore the health and beauty of your smile, schedule an appointment with Dr. Lauren Shanard at your earliest convenience to find out if a dental filling or dental crown is right for you.