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Tooth Fillings and Crowns | Everything You Need To Know

Maintaining a healthy and radiant smile is essential for overall well-being, and two common dental treatments that contribute to this are tooth fillings and crowns. Dr. Shin Ahn, a trusted dental expert in Mira Mesa, San Diego, CA, offers these solutions to help patients achieve and maintain optimal oral health. In this blog, we’ll delve into what tooth fillings and crowns are, as well as the key differences between porcelain crowns and zirconia crowns.

Tooth Fillings: Restoring Tooth Integrity

Tooth fillings are a tried-and-true solution for repairing teeth damaged by cavities or minor fractures. When plaque and bacteria accumulate on the tooth surface, they produce acids that erode the enamel, leading to cavities. Left untreated, these cavities can deepen and cause discomfort or sensitivity.

During a filling procedure, Dr. Shin Ahn will remove the decayed or damaged portion of the tooth, clean the area thoroughly, and then fill the void with a durable dental material. Common filling materials include composite resin, amalgam, and gold. These materials help restore the tooth’s integrity, prevent further decay, and ensure a natural appearance.

Crowns: Reinforcing and Enhancing Dental Structure

Crowns, also known as dental caps, are custom-made restorations used to cover damaged, weakened, or misshapen teeth. Unlike fillings, crowns encase the entire visible portion of the tooth above the gum line.

When a tooth is severely decayed, cracked, or compromised, a crown provides strength, protection, and aesthetic improvement. Crowns can be made from various materials, including porcelain-fused-to-metal (PFM), all-metal, all-porcelain, and zirconia.

Porcelain Crowns vs. Zirconia Crowns: A Closer Look

a. Porcelain Crowns

Porcelain crowns are popular for their ability to mimic the appearance of natural teeth, making them an excellent choice for visible front teeth. They are crafted with layers of dental porcelain, which reflects light similarly to natural tooth enamel, ensuring a seamless blend with the surrounding teeth.

Porcelain crowns offer superb aesthetics, but they may be less durable than other materials. They are more prone to chipping or cracking, especially for individuals who clench or grind their teeth. For this reason, they are often recommended for teeth with lighter bite pressure.

b. Zirconia Crowns

Zirconia crowns are engineered from a strong and biocompatible material called zirconium dioxide. These crowns are exceptionally durable, making them an ideal choice for molars or teeth subject to significant biting forces.

Zirconia crowns boast exceptional strength, longevity, and resistance to chipping, making them less prone to wear and tear. They also maintain their natural appearance over time and are a popular option for both front and back teeth.


Tooth fillings and crowns are vital dental treatments offered by Dr. Shin Ahn in Mira Mesa, San Diego, CA, to preserve and enhance your smile. Tooth fillings help combat cavities and minor tooth damage, restoring the tooth’s strength and appearance. On the other hand, crowns provide a protective shield for severely damaged teeth, reinforcing their structure and improving aesthetics.

When choosing between porcelain crowns and zirconia crowns, consider your specific dental needs, preferences, and the location of the tooth being restored. Dr. Shin Ahn’s expertise and personalized approach will guide you in making the best decision for your oral health, ensuring a beautiful and functional smile for years to come. Don’t hesitate to schedule a consultation and take the first step towards a confident, healthy smile!


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