Implants vs Tooth Crowns; Which Option is Right for You?

If you are missing a tooth you will need to get a restoration done. Missing teeth are not just aesthetically unappealing, they can have serious health issues. Missing teeth can cause plaque which will lead to bone loss and receding gums, which is not a sort of thing you can ignore. Proper replacement of missing teeth is the key to a perfect smile.

When you are missing a tooth, you have got two popular options: Get dental crowns or dental implants. The question is which option is right for you which you will need to discuss you’re your dentist.

What are Crowns?

A crown is a form of restoration, which will fit over your existing tooth. When multiple teeth are missing, a fixed bridge is used to fill the gap. They are bonded to the tooth permanently with a cement. It helps to keep teeth from moving, supporting facial muscles and allows to eat and speak normally. A dental bridge involves at least three crowns that are connected together to fill the gap.

What are Implants?

A dental implant is an artificial tooth which is made from titanium which is fused to the jaw bone by a process known as osseointegration. It is a more permanent replacement alternative. It is made up of three parts; the fixture, which will anchor the implant to the jaw bone; the abutment; which serves as a link between the fixture and the crown and the crown; which looks the same as a tooth it is replacing.

How do Implants Work?

A dental implant is anchored in a place of a missing tooth. A cover screw which is temporary protective is placed on the implant while it fuses with the jawbone by a process called osseointegration. This process can take up to six months, creating a stable, durable prosthetic. After osseointegration is completed, the cover screw is replaced by a temporary crown. This will serve as a template around which the gum will grow and shapes itself naturally. In the end, the temporary crown will be replaced with a permanent crown.

Implants are made to look like the original so that with the naked eye you cannot tell the difference. Implants also support other bone restoring procedures as well. It will improve the bite strength. It will help restore the jaw its natural ability. Unlike crowns, implants are much, much stronger. Biting on a hard candy will also make you not worry. Implants have been built to last in any situation.

They are much expensive also. It requires a serious time commitment involving 1-2 invasive surgeries with a long recovery time. It is only feasible if you have sufficient amount of width and bone height. The jaw bone should also be strong and favorable. Implants can be subjected to infection. It can cause peri-implantitis, which is an inflammatory process that causes bone loss by affecting the tissue around an implant. It can also cause peri-implant mucositis which is again an inflammatory process that affects the mucosa or gums adjacent to an implant. If these infections occur, it can eventually lead to implant failure.

How Crowns Work?

Getting a crown is a much simpler procedure. It does not require extensive surgery. A dental bridge is less invasive in some ways and more invasive in other ways than an implant. Bridges do not replace a tooth root like an implant. In fact, a bridge uses one or more surrounding teeth as a support to attach a crown that can fill the missing space. It does not require a lengthy healing process as implants. Thanks to the advancement in ceramic crown look just like the real thing. Crowns can also act as support for other dental restorations. Crowns are an integral part of the procedure in implants. It also acts as a support for bridges and overdentures. Crown can get brittle and fracture if there isn’t enough material to remove. Brittle crowns can crack even with chewing sometimes.

Though in some ways it is more invasive because it requires several millimeters of adjacent teeth to be removed. In cases of periodontal diseases where there is gum disease or bone loss around the tooth crown is not a good option. As root, of the tooth decreases and it needs a long and strong, firm root to keep the crown in place. In the past getting a dental bridge was the only option.

Which Lasts Longer? Bridges or Implants?

The titanium which is used to make a new dental implant will most likely last for the lifetime with the great home care and maintenance. Bridges generally need to be replaced once a decade. The initial investment in implants is more, but it is worth it. Dr. Madhvi Nagpal mostly recommends implants over bridges where there is healthy bone. According to ADA, the average life of a dental bridge is almost 10 years, whereas the dental implants last for a lifetime because it fuses with the jawbone. Your dentist should discuss with you the advantages and disadvantages of crowns and implants.

So, dental implants or crown? Make this decision with your dentist as he/she knows your mouth best. Anyway, bridges are an old procedure, dental implants have become the preferred treatment.

About the Author:

Dr. Madhvi Nagpal and her team of doctors have been practicing dentistry in New Delhi, India for the last 12 years. She is an experienced dentist with specialization in Dental Implants. She can be contacted here to know more about dental implant costs and procedure. She & her team of well-qualified doctors and assistants use the latest equipment and materials in the dental treatments.


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