dentist working on dental crowns

Fillings & Crowns in West Edmonton

Repair decaying or broken teeth while preserving your smile.

Stop cavities in their tracks

A filling is a treatment for tooth decay that can slow or stop its advancement and prevent the premature extraction of a tooth. A filling is completed by removing the decayed infected tooth structure and filling the void with a composite resin or metal alloy material. Fillings are typically recommended when the tooth defect is a small to medium portion of the entire tooth. If a significant portion of your tooth is a filling, your dentist may recommend an alternative treatment to prevent premature tooth loss.

Dentist pointing to prosthetic mouth
women dental patient holding her jaw while dentist talks

When do you need fillings?

You may need a filling if you are experiencing some of the following symptoms:

  • Tooth pain or sensitivity
  • A rough, chipped, or broken tooth
  • Visible dark spots on your teeth
  • A hole in your tooth that you can see or feel with your tongue
  • Darkly pigmented small lines or cracks in your teeth

Dr. Bains will also likely recommend that you get a filling to deal with any cavities if they are detected during an examination completed in conjunction with your dental hygiene therapy.

Types of fillings

Depending on your specific condition, and the location of the filling, your dentist may make a specific recommendation for your fillings:

  • Metal fillings, such as gold or silver amalgam, will last a very long time and they can withstand chewing and biting. But, they can cost a lot upfront and can be noticeable in the mouth.
  • Ceramic fillings are made most often out of porcelain and are a more natural-looking option than metal. They are also less prone to staining than the white composite resin. These fillings can last for nearly as long as metal fillings and can cost about as much.
  • White composite resin fillings are a plastic and glass mixture that is great for fixing small to medium-sized cavities. These fillings are similar in colour to your tooth, but they do need to be replaced more often than some metal fillings. Composite fillings are more affordable than gold or ceramic options.
dentist holding up x-rays at Lewis Estates Dental Clinic in Edmonton
women getting dental inspection

What is the procedure for fillings?

Fillings are very routine procedures in a dental office and Dr. Bains has done many of them during her career! Here is how they’re done so you know what to expect:

  • A local anesthetic will be administered to ensure the area is numb during the procedure
  • An air abrasion instrument, drill or laser will be used to remove tooth decay
  • The area will be examined and cleaned to ensure all of the decayed material has been successfully removed
  • The filling will be applied and cured
  • After the filling is cured it will need to be shaped and polished to ensure a smooth finish and natural contour
  • The dentist will then verify your bite to ensure it does not interfere with your ability to chew
  • Your filling is complete

Filling FAQs

Admittedly, getting a tooth filled can be slightly uncomfortable, but it usually does not hurt unless the cavity is large enough to approximate the nerve deep within the tooth. In general, however, a local anesthetic is applied to numb the tooth/area prior to treatment. This prevents you from feeling pain during the procedure.

In general, you should avoid consuming hot foods and beverages while the local anesthetic is still acting in the mouth. It is also wise to avoid chewing harder foods to ensure that you don’t accidentally bite your lip or tongue. At the end of your appointment you will be given specific instructions as they relate to your procedure.

The lifespan of a filling can vary depending on:

  • The type of material (metal, ceramic, and composite will have different schedules for replacement)
  • Your oral homecare routine and its frequency
  • Whether you grind or clench your teeth

Tooth restorations & crowns

A dental crown (also called a dental cap) is a tooth-shaped prosthetic cap that is cemented over a tooth. It serves to strengthen a tooth weakened by decay, act as a support for a dental bridge, or even for cosmetic improvement to your smile.

When do you need crowns?

Crowns can be a useful dental procedure to:

  • Protect a badly chipped or broken tooth from further damage that could otherwise lead to premature loss
  • Protect a tooth with a very large restoration
  • Improve the appearance of deformed teeth
dental technician working on model of jaw with teeth

Types of crowns

There are four types of dental crowns that have different applications and advantages:

  • Porcelain crowns are highly aesthetic and useful. They provide a natural appearance and longevity to crowns in the front of the mouth.
  • Porcelain-fused-to-metal crowns are similar to porcelain crowns, but the porcelain is fused to a metal substructure. This class of crown is commonly used on posterior teeth.
  • Gold crowns are made from an alloy of gold and other precious metals. They are extremely durable and require less tooth reduction for placement.
  • Zirconia crowns are made from zirconium dioxide, a metal in the titanium family with a white appearance. It has a similar look to a porcelain crown but is much harder and therefore withstands greater bite force.

What to do if you’ve lost a crown

If you have a chipped crown or a crown has come off one of your teeth we recommend the following steps:

  • Call, email us, or use our booking tool to schedule an appointment as soon as you can. We will try our very best to provide you with a same-day appointment.
  • If you are in pain, we recommend an over-the-counter oral pain reliever to manage discomfort. This is until you can come in for an appointment.
  • We also recommend using toothpaste or an over-the-counter dental cement/denture adhesive to put the crown back over the tooth to hold it in place. This is until you are seen by a dentist.
lewis estates dental waiting room empty with chairs and sofa
dentist showing male client dental x-rays

How a dentist performs a crown procedure

If a dental crown has been recommended, here is what you can expect:

  • A crown procedure typically involves two appointments. It may also be completed as a single appointment.
  • The first appointment is the preparation. Your tooth will be modified to have a crown under local anesthetic. Then a digital scan or impression of the teeth will be taken to ensure a proper fit of the final crown. A temporary crown will be fabricated and fitted to your tooth to protect it while you are waiting for your second appointment.
  • The impression or digital scan is then sent to our dental lab. This is so your custom crown can be created.
  • The second appointment will be scheduled for after your crown has been produced by our lab. At your second appointment, your temporary crown will be removed to allow a fitting of your CUSTOM crown. Once the fit has been determined, your crown will be permanently cemented to your tooth.

Crown FAQs

No, crowns are not implants. Crowns are caps that are bonded to the tooth while dental implants are inserted directly into the jawbone in the mouth.

Yes, many dental benefit plans will subsidize a portion of the cost of a crown depending on your availability of funds, taking account of your plan regulations and annual plan maximum.

Crowns are prone to wear and tear. If a crown is chipped, cracked, or broken, book an appointment right away. It needs to be addressed as soon as possible to avoid discomfort and recurrent decay or trauma to the tooth that can complicate your care. Some types of crowns may be repaired to mitigate costs, while others may require more intensive management or even replacement.

dentist showing women tooth dental implantations

Teeth tidbit

Fillings vs. crowns

Fillings are meant for small to medium cavities, while crowns are used to treat teeth with greater areas of structure loss, broken teeth, and deformed teeth.