Dental implant vs crown? You may be facing this dilemma if you have a tooth that needs repair or replacement.
Dental implants are surgical implants that replace the entire tooth including the root. Dental crowns, on the other hand, are used to cover just the visible part of the tooth rather than replacing the root as well. Crowns are also referred to as caps because they slide over the tooth encasing it from top to bottom, giving it further protection. While a crown itself can’t decay, the tooth below can get cavities if good oral hygiene isn’t maintained.
So now you know the difference between the two procedures, here’s a comparison of the two.
Dental Implant vs Crown – Pros and Cons
If price is your main concern, then dental implants are initially more expensive than dental crowns. Installing a crown is an easier procedure which can in some cases be completed in just one visit to the dental clinic. It requires just one component part (the crown itself) which makes it the most cost-efficient option upfront.
Dental implants, on the other hand, consist of 3 components – the titanium implant, the supporting abutment and a porcelain crown. They require either an oral surgeon or a dentist skilled in implant surgery to place them, and naturally, this is reflected in the cost.
That said, because dental implants are used to replace missing teeth, they can and do last longer than dental crowns. So in the long-term, an implant offers a more cost-effective solution for most patients.
Dental implants are permanent teeth
One of the main benefits of dental implants is that they feel, function, and look just like natural teeth. In fact, it’s the closest thing that modern dentistry can offer to get your real teeth back.
While the crown may need to be replaced at some point, the implant (root) is permanent. This is a huge advantage since there’s only a need to go through surgery once, lowering the risks and cost of future procedures.
The biggest downside to dental crowns is that they will eventually need replacing. Constant use can wear a crown out relatively quickly so to remain functional, it may need replacing. A dental crown is also prone to becoming loose or falling off as it wears out.
In addition, a person with a PFM (porcelain-fused-to-metal) crown may notice a dark line along the lower part of their teeth. This is the metal showing through and is another reason someone may want to replace their crown.
Dental implants take longer
Aside from costing more initially, dental implants take longer to place. Conventionally a dental implant procedure is carried out in stages with time between each stage to allow for planning and healing. It can take up to 9 months before the procedure is finalised depending on the work that has to be done.
Patients may need a bone graft before getting dental implants if their jawbone is too thin, or a sinus lift may be needed to create more space in the oral cavity for the implants to be placed. In either case, healing time will need to be added on before an implant can be placed.
Each patient is different, however, and the length of time it takes for them to undergo a dental implants procedure depends on how quickly they heal and how much work needs doing to secure the implant.
Conventional dental crowns on the other hand take several weeks and involve 2 or 3 dental visits. The first visit is typically a consultation to determine whether a crown is actually needed. The second is to prepare the tooth or teeth to be crowned and to take an impression which the dental lab uses to create the custom crowns. The third and final visit is to have your new dental crowns placed.
Not everyone can have dental implants
While implants are a common procedure not everyone is immediately eligible. Not only does a patient need to have good oral health but they need to be in reasonably good health overall to undergo oral surgery. Certain medical conditions can prevent patients from getting implants, such as
- Uncontrollable diabetes
- Heart disease
- Anyone who has received radiation to the jaw
So, overall which is best? Dental Implant vs Crown?
Dental implants are regarded as the gold standard of tooth replacement and are considered a better choice than crowns for many of the reasons explained above.
What’s more, they don’t require teeth to be modified as do crowns and they don’t need support from adjacent teeth as bridges (and crowns) do. There is also less risk of infection with dental implants since they are fixed into the jaw rather than sitting on the gum line leaving a space that bacteria could access.
To conclude, while dental crowns and dental implants are used to treat similar dental problems there are clear differences between them.
Generally speaking, dental crowns are used more for cosmetic reasons whereas implants are used when an entire tooth is lost through injury or has to be extracted because of disease or decay.
If you’re facing the dilemma of dental implant vs crown, why not come and speak to the experienced dental team at DDSS/DDII. We provide digital dental implant treatments that are faster, safer, and more comfortable for patients as well as single-visit digital crowns. Why not schedule a consultation and we can discuss your best treatment options.