Dental Crowns Preserve the Tooth and Offer Greater Protection Than a Filling

A dental crown, also known as a cap, is a tooth-shaped cover dentists use on a damaged tooth to protect the tooth from further damage and improve its appearance. The crown, which is usually made from porcelain, is color-matched to your natural teeth and cemented over the damaged tooth, protecting the nerves that are still alive and preventing further decay of the tooth.

Why do dentists prefer dental crowns over fillings?

Dentists prefer using dental crowns over fillings for a variety of reasons. In some cases, a filling is not enough to maintain the integrity of a tooth because the tooth is cracked and will not keep the filling in place. In other cases, the damage to the tooth is too extensive and the dental crown will do a better job of protecting the remaining tooth and improving its appearance than fillings.

These are some of the situations in which your dentist will recommend a dental crown over fillings:

  • Holding a cracked tooth together
  • Restoring a broken or worn tooth
  • Covering and protecting a tooth when most of the tooth has been damaged
  • Covering a dental implant
  • Covering a discolored tooth
  • Holding a dental bridge in place

What are crowns made from?

Permanent crowns are made from different materials, including:


Stainless steel crowns are used to protect the tooth temporarily while the permanent crown is being made in a dental laboratory.

dental crowns are also made from metal alloys that contain significant amounts of gold or platinum. They are very durable and rarely break or chip. However, they are not very popular because the color of the metal makes it stand out.


Crowns made with resin are less expensive than the other crowns but are not as durable.


These types of crowns are popular because they can be color-matched to your natural teeth and provide an alternative for people who are allergic to metal.


These are also popular because they can be color-matched to your teeth. However, they are also more durable than the other materials with the exception of metal crowns.


These types of crowns closely resemble your natural teeth and they can be used on both front and back teeth as well as dental bridges. However, they cause more wear on opposing teeth and the porcelain part can chip or break off.

How many trips to the dentist do you need to get a dental crown?

In some dental offices, getting a dental crown requires two trips to the dentist. The first trip is to clean out the decay in your teeth and for the dentist to make an impression of your teeth, which is sent to the laboratory where the crown will be made. Your dentist will then fit you with a temporary crown and call you in for a second visit when your permanent crown arrives. 

The bottom line

Dentists prefer using dental crowns over dental fillings in certain situations because the crowns provide better protection for your teeth and help to prevent infection. If you have a damaged tooth and are thinking about getting it fixed, talk to your dentist about dental crowns to find out if they can be used to fix your problem.

Request an appointment here: or call Galleria Dental Arts at (703) 368-9777 for an appointment in our Manassas office.

Check out what others are saying about our dental services on Yelp: Dental Crowns and Dental Bridges.

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