Smile restoration can be a life changing for people with severe tooth decay or a dental injury, but many people are unclear on the differences between two restorative dental treatments: dental crowns and dental implants. The choice between getting a dental implant or a crown will depend on the severity of tooth decay, dental injury, your budget, your desired outcome, your health, and other factors you can discuss with your dentist. Here’s a overview of the two treatments to get you started.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a prosthetic that replaces the root of a natural tooth. Implants are generally used when teeth are failing or have severe decay or trauma. The implant is inserted directly into the jawbone, allowing it to fuse with the bone for a permanent fix. Once fused with the bone, the implant can serve as an anchor for a single tooth replacement, a dental bridge, or join with other implants to support a full arch of permanent replacement teeth.
Implants are made of surgical-grade titanium, the same material used in joint replacements in the body. Implants are biocompatible and promote new bone growth around the implant and prevent the deterioration common with missing or decayed teeth.
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown looks almost exactly like a natural tooth. It acts as as a cap to cover a tooth that is decayed, broken, or severely discolored. Made from acrylic, porcelain, or porcelain fused to metal, crowns cover the entire surface of the tooth above the gumline to protect and preserve the tooth underneath from additional wear and tear. Because dental crowns are not anchored in place and do not extend below the gums, it is incredibly important to maintain excellent oral hygiene to prevent further decay or damage, not only to the crowned tooth but to the adjacent teeth as well.
Dental implant vs crown
The choice between a dental crown and a dental implant will largely depend on the severity of your particular tooth issue. When there isn’t enough natural tooth left from decay or injury to support a crown, an implant might be the only option. However, if you are deciding between the two, here are some other factors to consider:
- Strong: Dental implants are much more durable than crowns. They are long lasting. Crowns are more susceptible to fracture and usually have to be replaced around every 10 years, or sooner.
- Maintenance: Dental implants can be maintained like natural teeth, with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dentist. Dental crowns require extra care because the tooth root underneath a crown is still susceptible to decay.
- Cost: A dental crown is initially more affordable than implants, but replacement costs for crowns over time could eventually surpass the one-time cost of a dental implant.
- Time commitment: A dental crown only requires a relatively short visit to the dentist, and there’s no recovery time because no surgery is required. A dental implant can be placed in one visit and may have a short recovery time from surgery.
Restore your smile with a dental crown or implant
If you want to improve the appearance of your smile but you’re not sure which dental treatment is right for you, call Sedation and Implant Dentistry of Tehachapi at (661) 822-3727 to schedule a consultation.