Crowns vs. Implants: What’s the Difference?
It’s bad enough when something goes wrong with your tooth, but when you hear the words crown or implant, you probably can’t help but cringe. So, what’s the deal with dental crowns and implants? And, what’s the difference?
Dental work is never fun, but sometimes, it’s necessary for your oral and overall health. What’s most important, though, is that you’re comfortable with whatever procedure you’re having done. Knowing exactly what crowns and implants are and how they work is the first step in easing any discomfort you may feel about the procedure.
So, what’s a crown?
The simple explanation of a dental crown is that it’s a stronger, more permanent version of a filling. A crown or a cap is a protective cover that fits over a broken or damaged tooth. They’re usually made out of materials like porcelain, ceramic, acrylic, or gold—that’s why they’re so strong. Porcelain or ceramic crowns can be matched to your teeth so nothing will look out of place in your smile.
The procedure is definitely nothing to worry about. The existing tooth simply gets shaped down to where the crown can fit snuggly over it. Crowns help protect the damaged tooth while restoring the alignment, strength, and shape of your smile.
What about implants?
Dental implant procedures require a little bit more time and, unfortunately, can be more costly. But, they’re also incredibly strong and stable, making them the next best thing to your natural teeth.
Implants are tapered titanium posts that are surgically placed below your gums, replacing the tooth’s root. Because it’s placed below your gum line, you need to have healthy gums that are able to support the implant. The dental implant is placed in your jawbone so that it will fuse with your natural bone becoming a sturdy foundation for your replacement tooth, much like a crown.
Leaving empty spaces in your mouth after losing a tooth is not only noticeable, but it’s also unsafe. It can lead to additional health issues like the deterioration of your jawbone (yikes!). Dental implants protect your healthy bone, while allowing you to eat, smile, talk and go about your daily life without having to worry about your teeth.
When is one better?
A crown is used if your tooth is decayed, but still there, to protect it from further damage and to keep your bite functional. Implants are best used when your tooth is missing (for instance, if you had to have a tooth pulled). Then, a crown, otherwise known as the replacement tooth, is connected to the implant.
Everyone has different needs, so it’s important to get specific details and opinions from your dentist. If you have any questions or are looking for a dentist, give us a call.