Do you have a tooth that needs a major restoration? When a tooth is severely decayed, cracked, or chipped, it may need to be repaired or replaced. Dental implants and crowns are commonly used to restore function and appearance. Which option is right for you? It depends on your situation.
It helps to understand the difference between these two options and how they work. Here’s a general breakdown of these two types of tooth restoration and the pros and cons of each.
What is a Dental Crown?
A crown, sometimes called a cap, is an artificial tooth that is placed over the existing tooth. Crowns are most commonly made of porcelain, but they can also be made of gold or metal alloys. In preparation for a crown placement, the natural crown of the tooth is shaved down, leaving just a small piece for the dental crown to attach to. The natural tooth root with the soft pulp inside remains intact and the crown is permanently cemented into place.
- The natural root stays intact.
- Costs less than a dental implant.
- Shorter procedure.
- Only lasts between 10-15 years.
- May require a root canal.
- The tooth may still need to be fully replaced later.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant completely replaces the natural tooth and root. An implant consists of a titanium post that is surgically placed in the jaw bone. It fuses with the bone over a few months to form a solid bond. An artificial tooth crown is then attached to the root for a natural look and function. The crown is usually made of porcelain because it most closely resembles tooth enamel. A dental implant replaces a missing tooth or a severely damaged tooth that cannot be saved.
- Can last for a lifetime.
- Preserves the jaw bone.
- Looks and functions like a natural tooth.
- Costs more than a crown.
- The procedure is more invasive.
- May require preparatory procedures such as bone grafting.
Which Option is Best for You?
Deciding between a dental implant and a crown is usually not a difficult decision. The best option for you depends on your particular situation.
If your tooth is severely decayed, cracked, or damaged but the tooth root and soft pulp inside is still healthy, your dentist will most likely recommend a crown. If the tooth root is not severely damaged but is infected, a root canal procedure may be done before the crown is placed.
If your tooth is already missing or the tooth root is also damaged or severely decayed beyond saving, your dentist will most likely recommend a dental implant. An implant is the best tooth replacement option available, as it provides the bite strength of a healthy tooth and won’t damage your other teeth.
Some patients may decide to forgo a crown in lieu of a dental implant simply because the implant will last longer, preventing the need for further dental work in the future. A crown may not last forever and you may find yourself in need of a dental implant later on anyway.
Some patients prefer the lower cost, less invasive procedure now, then wait and see if any further dental work will be needed.
Ask the Experts at Holzinger Periodontics and Dental Implants
If you’re wondering which option is right for you, a dental implant or a crown, discuss your case with the experts at Holzinger Periodontics and Dental Implants. We perform dental implant placement for patients who are ideal candidates for the procedure. We will evaluate the condition of your tooth, gums, and jaw to determine whether or not a dental implant would be in your best interest.
Call 860-347-8457 to schedule a consultation at our Middletown office or 860-224-0433 for our New Britain office. You can also request an appointment. We look forward to restoring your smile in whatever way is best for you.