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Old 12-17-2019, 07:19 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
8,377 posts, read 14,475,215 times
Reputation: 27089

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Hi, all. One of my back teeth has a tiny chip in it (I knew SOMETHING was going on with it, but I couldn't tell what -- my dentist is the one who called it a "tiny chip"). I assumed it would need a crown, but there is no cavity or anything else wrong with it so the dentist said a filling should be fine.

Well, I am almost 61 years old and have NEVER had a filling. I HAVE had 2 crowns, both done when I was in my 30s -- my bottom wisdom teeth had come in crooked and caused cavities in the teeth right next to them, so I got root canals and crowns on both. So I am familiar with crowns but not fillings.

It looks like fillings have to be re-done every 10-15 years? Would a crown be longer-lasting? (I have had no problems with mine.)

Thanks for any info!
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Old 12-18-2019, 12:44 PM
 
Location: on the wind
12,928 posts, read 6,444,509 times
Reputation: 42505
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
Hi, all. One of my back teeth has a tiny chip in it (I knew SOMETHING was going on with it, but I couldn't tell what -- my dentist is the one who called it a "tiny chip"). I assumed it would need a crown, but there is no cavity or anything else wrong with it so the dentist said a filling should be fine.

Well, I am almost 61 years old and have NEVER had a filling. I HAVE had 2 crowns, both done when I was in my 30s -- my bottom wisdom teeth had come in crooked and caused cavities in the teeth right next to them, so I got root canals and crowns on both. So I am familiar with crowns but not fillings.

It looks like fillings have to be re-done every 10-15 years? Would a crown be longer-lasting? (I have had no problems with mine.)

Thanks for any info!
Well, a crown is going to cost a heck of a lot more than a filling, and depending on your insurance you'll pay for it. I'd much rather keep as much of an original healthy tooth as possible. Plus, a crown is a more complex multiple-step procedure...why expose more tooth to more disturbance if a simpler option will solve the problem? A filling can be repaired if necessary and still cost a lot less than a crown. Especially an unnecessary one. FWIW, I have a few small 20 year old composite fillings that are fine (I grind my teeth...the fillings were done years ago to repair the damage). Older metal amalgam fillings may need to be replaced eventually.

Last edited by Parnassia; 12-18-2019 at 01:39 PM..
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Old 12-18-2019, 03:33 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
8,377 posts, read 14,475,215 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Parnassia View Post
Well, a crown is going to cost a heck of a lot more than a filling, and depending on your insurance you'll pay for it. I'd much rather keep as much of an original healthy tooth as possible. Plus, a crown is a more complex multiple-step procedure...why expose more tooth to more disturbance if a simpler option will solve the problem? A filling can be repaired if necessary and still cost a lot less than a crown. Especially an unnecessary one. FWIW, I have a few small 20 year old composite fillings that are fine (I grind my teeth...the fillings were done years ago to repair the damage). Older metal amalgam fillings may need to be replaced eventually.
OK, thanks! Sorry, I've just never HAD a filling so wasn't sure how they "worked." I did know that a crown would be a lot more expensive. I will likely meet with my dentist next week so will let him know a filling is fine.

Again, thanks for replying!
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Old 12-23-2019, 12:12 PM
 
Location: SW US
2,544 posts, read 2,384,988 times
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I have had a lot of fillings and crowns. I would do the filling.
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Old 12-23-2019, 05:03 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
11,629 posts, read 8,428,643 times
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I've had a few small chips/breaks in my teeth over the years that the dentist fixed with fillings. They worked out just fine.
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Old 12-23-2019, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Tampa Bay`·.¸¸ ><((((º>.·´¯`·><((((º>
4,567 posts, read 6,991,455 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Windwalker2 View Post
I have had a lot of fillings and crowns. I would do the filling.
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Old 12-24-2019, 01:35 PM
 
Location: The Bubble, Florida
844 posts, read 260,983 times
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For filling what they do is basically drill just enough of the tooth that the resin or other filling material will "anchor" itself. Then they fill that in with the resin (or other filling material), add enough to completely obscure the chip, and then shape it with a metal hook-like tool (they use the curved edge rather than the pointed tip) to round it off in the shape of whatever the tooth was like before it got chipped. Then they give it a gentle sanding to smooth it out further and a buff-polish, and off you go.

They might choose to layer the material - so add a little, shape that, then add a little more, shape that, until it's done. The shaping has to be done very quickly to prevent the material from setting incorrectly, so it's a very fast process. Some dentists use a special UV light-sensitive resin, that will stay flexible (and shapeable) until it hardens by directing a special light from a scope into your mouth. If they use gold, they won't use that light. If it is gold, it'll be 16k gold, which is much more pliable than 14k, but also more durable than 18k gold.

Takes around 40 minutes from the time you sit in the chair to the time you get out of the chair. No bleeding, usually not even any anasthesia needed since they're not digging a hole, they're just making a shallow indentation to secure the material.
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Old 12-24-2019, 03:47 PM
 
Location: Southern New Hampshire
8,377 posts, read 14,475,215 times
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Thanks very much to the most recent posters! My next appointment is Monday 1/6/20 so hopefully the dentist will do the filling then. I am having knee surgery four weeks later on Monday 2/3/20 so it needs to be done at least a couple of weeks before then.

Happy holidays to you all!
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Old 12-24-2019, 07:21 PM
 
Location: SW Florida
11,629 posts, read 8,428,643 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
Thanks very much to the most recent posters! My next appointment is Monday 1/6/20 so hopefully the dentist will do the filling then. I am having knee surgery four weeks later on Monday 2/3/20 so it needs to be done at least a couple of weeks before then.

Happy holidays to you all!
And happy holidays to you and yours too!

Thinking the filling will be so minor it'll be more like a non-event, here's hoping anyway.

And best wishes for a most successful knee surgery!
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Old 12-24-2019, 08:53 PM
 
Location: British Columbia
10,567 posts, read 8,758,722 times
Reputation: 23078
Quote:
Originally Posted by karen_in_nh_2012 View Post
Hi, all. One of my back teeth has a tiny chip in it (I knew SOMETHING was going on with it, but I couldn't tell what -- my dentist is the one who called it a "tiny chip"). I assumed it would need a crown, but there is no cavity or anything else wrong with it so the dentist said a filling should be fine.

Well, I am almost 61 years old and have NEVER had a filling. I HAVE had 2 crowns, both done when I was in my 30s -- my bottom wisdom teeth had come in crooked and caused cavities in the teeth right next to them, so I got root canals and crowns on both. So I am familiar with crowns but not fillings.

It looks like fillings have to be re-done every 10-15 years? Would a crown be longer-lasting? (I have had no problems with mine.)

Thanks for any info!

Depends on what kind of material is used. I'm in my 70's+ and have fillings in my mouth that are 60 years old and younger, as well as full crowns that are 37 years old now (the crowns weren't supposed to last that long but are still going strong). None of the fillings have had to be repaired or re-done, nor have the crowns. My only objection to the crowns (aside from the exorbitant costs) is that their mountings have become visible below the gum line as the gums recede with age and there's nothing can be done about that. So I have lines showing just between the crown and the gum that I don't like.

I've had a few "tiny chips" occur in some of my front teeth and a couple of back molars and just got fillings done to repair them. When you feel the chip with the tongue they don't feel so tiny, but in reality they are very small. The fillings are holding up better than my natural teeth are. LOL. I'd suggest if all you have is a chip then just get a filling done to repair it and save yourself some extra expenses. If it turns out that you need to eventually get a crown done, well you can still do that later if necessary.

.
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