Differences Between Dental Crowns & Fillings Grand Rapids

Crowns and fillings are both dental restorations used to restore the appearance and function of teeth. The two may exist in the same area of dentistry but differ in terms of cost, time to complete, and purpose.

Now, whether you require a crown or filling will ultimately be determined by our team of Grand Rapids dentists. We will examine your teeth and assess any damage before a thoughtful decision is made.

In this blog, we’ll go over the differences between crowns and fillings so that you can walk into your next appointment feeling confident and informed. Here is a quick overview followed by more in-depth information about each dental procedure.

Comparing Procedures


  • Repairs a severely damaged or decayed tooth
  • Covers decayed teeth
  • More expensive
  • Takes 2 dental visits
  • Requires impressions


  • Repairs minor tooth damage or decay
  • Fills in decayed teeth
  • More affordable
  • Takes 1 dental visit
  • No impressions needed

While both dental procedures tackle tooth damage in some capacity, the need for one or the other is usually apparent. For example, if you have a minor cavity, you’ll receive a filling. On the other hand, if your tooth is broken or weakened from decay, you’ll receive a crown.

When Crowns Are Recommended

Dental crowns are recommended for patients with severe tooth damage or cavities. If the structural integrity of the tooth has been compromised, our dentists will recommend dental crowns. Not only are dental crowns durable, but they also protect your tooth from further damage and sensitivity.

If a crown has been decided upon, it is because the tooth is too damaged to be repaired with a simple filling. A dental crown covers the entire visible portion of the tooth above the gum line, capping it like a crown. While dental crowns are more durable than fillings, they are also more expensive and require more invasive treatment.

The receiving tooth will need to be filed down in order to make room for the dental crown. Then, our dentists will take dental impressions and send them to the lab where your dental restoration will be made. A few weeks later, you will return to our office to have your crown fitted and cemented in place.

When Fillings Are Recommended

When you have a small cavity, our dentists will drill out the tooth decay and fill it in with dental amalgam or composite resin. Composite resin fillings are largely preferred as they match the color of your natural tooth enamel.

Unlike dental crowns, fillings only take one visit to the dentist. Dental fillings can also be used to repair small chips in teeth so you can smile with confidence. Many patients choose fillings because they are less invasive than dental crowns and cost less.

How Do I Know Which Option is Right for Me?

Crowns and fillings are used for different situations to repair smiles. Since both dental restorations have their benefits, it’s important to consult with our dentists on which procedure is right for you. Different situations call for different treatment options.

Our Dentists Can Help

Our dentists in Grand Rapids, MI, are fully dedicated to helping patients achieve their best smiles. If you are interested in learning more about our dental crown or tooth filling procedures, call Lake Michigan Dental at (616) 453-8211 or contact us online.

This blog has been updated.