Dental Crowns vs. Fillings

Dental Crowns Grand Rapids Mi Dentist

Our dentist in Grand Rapids, MI, may recommend either dental crowns or fillings to restore your oral health. However, it’s important that you understand the differences between these treatments before your next appointment with us.

Here’s what you need to know about dental crown treatment, fillings, and how they compare.

Schedule Urgent Dental Care

If you have a toothache, it’s vital that you call our Grand Rapids dental office as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the more likely we’ll have to take drastic action to restore your oral health.

During your appointment, Dr. Nichols will examine the inside of your mouth. We’ll also take dental X-rays so our dentist can determine if there are any underlying issues with your oral health.

With this information, Dr. Nichols will be able to diagnose and treat the source of your dental pain.

Dental Crowns

A dental crown is like a cap that sits on top of your tooth. It covers the entire visible portion of your tooth, restoring its natural strength and appearance.

In total, the dental crown procedure will take two trips to our office.

During your first appointment, Dr. Nichols will remove any decayed or damaged tooth structure. He’ll then file down the tooth so the crown will be able to fit over top.

Next, he’ll take impressions of your teeth to send to the dental lab. The lab will use these impressions to create your porcelain dental crown. But you won’t be able to receive your new crown until your second appointment with us.

In the meantime, Dr. Nichols will place a temporary crown to protect your tooth.

When you return for your second appointment, Dr. Nichols will remove the temporary crown and replace it with the permanent restoration. But before bonding the permanent crown in place, he’ll ensure that it’s the correct size, shape, and color to match the rest of your smile.

That way, your dental crown will look and feel natural.


Dr. Nichols may recommend a composite filling to restore a tooth with a small cavity. Unlike the dental crown procedure, it only takes one appointment for us to restore your tooth with a filling.

First, Dr. Nichols will numb the tooth so you don’t feel any pain or discomfort during the procedure. Next, he’ll remove the cavity and fill the remaining hole with a composite resin.

Composite resin is a durable material that matches the color of your natural tooth enamel. That way, no one will know that you have a filling!


What treatment you need depends on the extent of damage to the tooth. For example, Dr. Nichols may recommend a dental filling to restore a tooth with a small cavity. But he may recommend a dental crown if a tooth is too fragile to handle a filling and needs more structural support.

Likewise, you may need a root canal and crown if a cavity has breached the pulp inside your tooth. The last resort would be extracting a badly decayed or injured tooth to restore your dental health.

Ultimately, you won’t know what procedure you need until you see our dentist.

Book an Appointment with Dr. Nichols

Searching for a trusted dentist in Grand Rapids, MI? Dr. Michael Nichols is accepting new patients and would be more than happy to help you maintain a healthy smile for life. To schedule an appointment, please call Nichols Family Dentistry at (616) 333-8496. You may also fill out our online contact form and someone from our team will reach out to you soon.

This blog post has been updated.

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