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Dental Implant vs Crown: A Guide to Choosing the Right Treatment

January 12, 2024

Every person who suffers from dental problems, such as missing teeth or damaged teeth, is looking for treatment options between dental implants and dental crowns. However, confusion often arises as many of us wonder which is the best choice for our specific dental issues. 

This comprehensive guide aims to provide an in-depth coverage of the differences between dental implants and crowns. We’ll delve into their procedures, benefits, drawbacks, suitability for different cases, financial considerations, infection risks, maintenance and care, and future trends and innovations. 

By the end of this article, you will have a better understanding of the disparities between dental implants and crowns, empowering you to make an informed decision regarding which option best suits your case. 

Introduction to Dental Implants and Crowns

Now, let’s delve into the world of dental implants and dental crowns.

Overview Of Dental Implants

Essentially, dental implants serve as the artificial roots of teeth, typically implanted into the jawbone, to address issues caused by missing teeth. This solution not only provides relief from chewing and speaking difficulties but also ensures that individuals can smile confidently without any embarrassment. 

The placement of dental implants involves a surgical procedure, enhancing both the aesthetics and functionality of your smile. The durable nature of dental implants ensures long-lasting results, with materials like titanium or other biocompatible substances contributing to their success. 

Overview of Dental Crowns

Dental crowns are required when there is no way to prevent teeth damage through any filling. This means the teeth are too damaged, and there is no other way to avoid it. At that time, your dentist uses dental crowns. Dental crowns provide strength, improve shape, and enhance overall appearance. The Dental Crown is a cap designed to resemble a natural tooth. It must prevent your teeth from becoming weak. Most likely, the doctor will recommend a crown after root canal treatment (RCT) when the teeth become weak.

Dental crowns are used for broken, decayed, or aesthetically compromised teeth. The dental cap can be made from various materials such as metal (appearing silver and made with steel), porcelain, and E-max (known for its durability), or a combination of metal and ceramic, etc.

These types of caps can also be created using computer-aided design and computer-aided manufacturing (CAD-CAM). Because a computer makes caps, the chances of human errors are very low. The fitting of caps made by CAD-CAM is significantly different and superior compared to handcrafted caps. However, CAD-CAMs are more expensive than other caps.

Compare the Benefits and Drawbacks of Both Dental Implants and Crowns

Now, check the difference based on the benefits and drawbacks of both dental implants and crowns.

Benefits of Dental Implants Over Crowns

Here are some of the points or areas where dental implants are more beneficial than dental crowns.

  • Durability: – Based on durability, dental implants are better than dental crowns. The average lifespan of the dental implants is 10 to 30 years. Which is based on the age when you got the implants. On the other hand, dental crowns have only 5 to 15 years lifespan. You could also face many problems like Replacement.
  • Natural Appearance and Functionality: – Dental implants are not a visible part of the tooth; they are artificial tooth roots placed in the jawbone through surgery, providing a strong foundation for the visible region. The visible part is the dental Crown, which connects to the dental implant through an abutment. An expert dentist plays a crucial role in this process. The success rate of dental implants depends on the dentist’s expertise and the Crown’s appearance matching with the surrounding teeth.

Benefits of Dental Crowns Over Implants

Let’s explore the areas or points where dental crowns are more beneficial than dental implants.

  • Affordability and Cost Considerations – There is no doubt that dental implants are considerably more expensive compared to dental crowns, but it’s crucial to understand why they carry a higher cost. If you opt to replace damaged teeth with dental implants, the expense covers the entire procedure. This is because it involves a surgical process to place the implant in the jawbone, and the cost also includes the additional fee of the dental Crown, which is necessary for implant surgery. On the other hand, if you choose a dental crown to address damaged teeth or as part of a dental bridge, you only need to cover the treatment cost. In this case, there are no additional charges like those associated with dental implants.
  • Preservation of Natural Tooth Structure – Dental crowns are better and have more advantages than dental implants when it comes to saving natural tooth structure. This is because, with dental implants, dentists have to take out the whole tooth structure. On the other hand, with dental crowns, dentists use a crown to cover the visible part of the damaged tooth, and there’s no need to remove the underlying tooth structure.

Drawbacks Of Dental Implants

Now, you should also be aware of the drawbacks of dental implants. Here are some disadvantages of dental implants that you should consider.

  • Possibility of the infection – If an expert does not do a dental implant or is not successful, there is a high chance of infection. These infections can lead to swelling and pain, affecting the gums and bone around the implant. These infections may occur during or after the surgery, especially if the implant fails.
  • Nerve and other structure damage: – A dental implant can potentially cause harm to your nerves, especially when the implant is placed too close to the nerves or other nearby structures. This situation may lead to issues such as bleeding, weakness, pain, and, in severe cases, paralysis. However, the occurrence of these problems depends on the specific location where the implant is placed.
  • Coverage of Insurance: – Dental implants are often more expensive compared to other treatment options, and crowns that go along with them can also add to the cost. Additionally, insurance may not cover these expenses
  • Time-Consuming: – Dental implants can take quite a long time, typically 6 to 12 months, to complete the entire process. Patients may need to schedule multiple appointments, which can be irritating for some.

Drawbacks Of Dental Crowns

It’s not necessary that any treatment only has benefits; there are usually some drawbacks as well. Just like we saw some disadvantages of dental implants earlier, dental crowns also have some downsides, which are mentioned below.

  • Removal Of Natural Teeth: – The biggest drawback of a dental crown is that it involves removing some natural teeth around it, which can never be replaced.
  • Sensitivity in your teeth: – If you have metal crowns or a combination of metal inside and ceramic outside in dental crowns, you might experience sensitivity in your teeth. This can make your teeth feel cold in chilly weather or warm in hot temperatures.
  • Repair And Replacement: – Over time, dental crowns may require repair or Replacement because they can break or fracture for various reasons. This could necessitate the need for fixing or replacing them.
  • Trap Of Bacteria: – If dental crowns are not properly fitted or sealed, bacteria can enter, potentially causing damage to the teeth. This becomes a significant issue with dental crowns.

Dental Implant vs Crown Procedure Explained

Now, let’s understand the difference between dental implants and dental crowns based on their procedures. What are the stages during the process for both?

Dental Implant Procedure Explained

Check the procedure of dental implants, which can take up to 6 to 12 months to address missing teeth or other problems.

  • Meet with a dentist: – First, you meet with a dentist and discuss your dental problems and needs. A professional dentist thoroughly examines your mouth and informs you about treatment options. A complete customized plan for your dental implant surgery is then created.
  • Tooth Extraction and Bone Grafting: – If you have a damaged tooth that cannot be repaired through other treatment options, the dentist may need to extract the tooth to make way for the dental implant. If your jawbone is not strong enough to support the implant, meaning it cannot do so, the dentist may need to perform bone grafting. This procedure aims to strengthen your jawbone, ensuring that the implant surgery is successful and effective.
  • Artificial Root Placement: – During the implant procedure, a professional dentist makes a small incision in your gums to expose the bone and create a hole. In this hole, a titanium screw-like structure is fitted, acting as an artificial root to support the visible part of your teeth.
  • Connector: – As soon as the dentist successfully places the implant in the bone, they need to reopen the gums. This is because the dentist attaches a connector, typically made of metal, on top of the implant. This connector called an abutment, serves as a link to connect the visible part of the tooth or the Crown to the implant.
  • Create Crown: – Now, the dentist examines your entire mouth, observes it, and then designs a suitable crown. This Crown is crafted to match your other teeth in terms of color, shape, and overall appearance.
  • Multiple Visits: – Now, for the optimal performance of your implant, you need to visit the dentist regularly. This allows the professional to carefully observe your mouth and the implant, ensuring that any potential issues are addressed and the procedure remains successful. Through these checkups, the dentist verifies that everything is in order and advises on maintaining good oral hygiene practices. Multiple checkups are conducted to ensure the ongoing well-being of your implant.

Dental Crown Procedure Explained

Now, let’s check the procedure for a dental crown. Examine the steps and stages you go through after choosing dental crowns as your treatment option.

  • Consultation – Firstly, you need to consult with a dentist. The dentist conducts a full X-ray of your mouth to thoroughly examine your teeth, checking the condition of the roots and adjacent teeth. Afterward, the dentist presents treatment options and discusses the shape and color preferences for the Crown. You may also require root canal treatment before getting the Crown.
  • Preparation – Now, the dentist prepares your teeth for the Crown. A professional dentist trims and shapes your teeth for the Crown, considering the surrounding teeth. Then, a temporary artificial crown model is created to protect your damaged teeth until the final Crown is ready.
  • Creating Crown – Now, the dentist sends the temporary Crown to the laboratory, where technicians begin crafting the final Crown. They use materials such as metal, porcelain, ceramic, or a combination of metal and ceramic, depending on factors like the tooth’s condition, preferences, durability, cost, appearance, and the location of the tooth.
  • Cement The Crown – Now, after creating the permanent Crown, the dentist removes the temporary Crown and cements the new one in place. Before cementing, they ensure that the Crown matches your natural teeth, making any necessary adjustments for a seamless fit. Additionally, the professional dentist guides you on how to care for your newly placed crowns to ensure their long-lasting effectiveness.

In Conclusion

Now, if you have damaged teeth or require treatment such as dental implants or dental crowns for your dental problems, you must first understand what they are and in which cases they are suitable. Always consult with your dentist and communicate your teeth problems, whether they are missing teeth or damaged teeth. The dentist will thoroughly examine your teeth and, based on your condition, suggest better treatment options that work well for your case.

Although we discussed the comparison between dental implants and crowns, it is essential to understand them individually because both are distinct treatment options yet interconnected. They play different and beneficial roles depending on the conditions and suitability of the teeth.

If you have any queries and want to determine which treatment option works best for your dental care, between dental implants and crowns, consult with our experts at Kirkland Premier Dentistry. They will listen to you, assess your teeth conditions, whether through a physical visit or virtually and recommend the best option for your comfort.

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