What’s the Difference Between a Crown and an Implant?
A bright, restored smile can be a game-changer for those with severe tooth decay or a dental injury, but many people are unclear on the differences between two of the most popular restorative dental treatments: crowns and implants.
The choice between getting a dental implant vs crown will depend on the severity of decay or trauma, your desired results, your budget, your health, and other factors you can discuss with your dentist. Here’s a general overview of the two treatments to get you started:
What is a dental crown?
A dental crown looks almost exactly like a natural tooth, acting 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.
What is a dental implant?
A dental implant is a prosthetic root that replaces the root of a natural tooth following decay or trauma that is severe enough to warrant complete removal. The implant is inserted directly into the jawbone, allowing it to fuse with the bone for a permanent fix. Once fused, 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. And because they are biocompatible, implants will encourage new bone growth around the implant and prevent the deterioration common with missing or decayed teeth.
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:
- Durability: Dental implants are much more durable than crowns, often lasting a lifetime. Crowns usually have to be replaced around every 10 years, or sooner if they become damaged, as they’re more susceptible to fracture.
- Maintenance: Dental implants can be maintained like natural teeth, with regular brushing, flossing, and visits to the dental hygienist. Dental crowns require extra attention and care because the remaining tooth underneath a crown is still susceptible to decay.
- Cost: Dental crowns are initially more affordable than implants, although replacement costs for crowns over time could eventually surpass the one-time cost of dental implants.
- 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. Dental implants require more time in the dental chair and some recovery time as well.
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 San Diego Dental Specialty Center at (619) 263-6683 to schedule a consultation. We understand the impact of a bright, beautiful smile we’re here to help restore yours today.