When trauma or decay leads to broken or damaged teeth, there are two common options for treatment: dental implants and dental crowns. It can be easy to confuse the two as both options offer many of the same benefits. However, there are distinct differences between these two treatments, and both have different use cases.
Choosing between dental implants and crowns ultimately comes down to the current state of your tooth or teeth and whether or not extraction is necessary. Below, we’ll review the differences and benefits of both dental implants and crowns, so you can be better prepared to choose a treatment plan for your unique situation.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are prosthetic teeth implanted into the gums and jawbone with a titanium structure. The prosthetic tooth connects to the titanium screw via an abutment. This prosthetic tooth is designed to look, function, and feel like a real tooth, which allows patients to quickly get back to normal after having a tooth pulled. When tooth extraction is necessary, dental implants can provide patients with support for eating and self-confidence.
The type of dental implant is usually based on the current condition of your teeth and the severity of the decay. If you’re having a single tooth pulled or a small group, then a single implant or a bridge may be all that’s needed to fix the problem. If the majority of your teeth are in bad shape, you might want to consider a full arch implant on the upper and/or the lower set.
Dental implants are installed under general anesthesia, so the procedure itself is not painful. If you do have pain afterward, your periodontist may recommend you take prescription pain medicine for a day or so.
Why Would I Need Dental Implants?
Dental implants serve as a viable alternative to your real teeth in the event your teeth require extraction due to decay or damage. While most doctors will attempt to save your real teeth when it’s feasible if it’s not possible — dental implants will act as a great alternative. When done correctly, dental implants allow you to maintain your bite and smile.
What Are The Benefits of Dental Implants?
Dental implants are often considered to be one of the most effective treatments in modern dentistry. Some of their main benefits include:
- They Look And Function Like Real Teeth – One of the top benefits of dental implants is that they get you back to feeling normal after you’ve had your teeth pulled. Implants can help restore up to 80% to 100% of your bite. What is just as important — they also restore your smile so you can continue to live life with confidence.
- They Last A Long Time – When patients take care of their implants, they can easily last for decades or in some cases, even a lifetime. The average longevity of implants is likely around 25 years, but it can be a lot longer depending on your hygiene and chewing habits.
- You Can Replace As Many Teeth As Necessary – A single dental implant is capable of supporting multiple teeth. In many cases, you won’t need a single implant for every tooth that needs to be replaced. You could theoretically replace both your upper and lower arches with as few as four implants.
- They’re Comfortable – Many patients are surprised at just how comfortable implants actually are. Most people think of the discomfort of dentures, which can lead to gum sores. Dental implants allow you to eat, talk, chew, and sleep without any pain or discomfort.
- You Might Be Able To Get Them In A Single Visit
While many people think getting dental implants is a long process and requires multiple visits, some highly experienced periodontists can actually do them in a single day with leading-edge technology. Not every patient will qualify, but the current state of your oral health will be a determining factor.
What Are Crowns?
Crowns are simply protective caps or covers placed over an existing tooth. Unlike a dental implant, crowns don’t actually replace the entire tooth. Crowns work to protect the tooth itself against further decay, so they’re an effective treatment so long as the tooth is still functioning. In order to install a crown, the tooth must be filed down, which is a permanent procedure. Then, the crown must be secured by binding it to the surrounding teeth.
Why Would I Need A Crown?
If your tooth is weak, decaying, chipped, or broken, a crown is generally used to help restore and protect it. Crowns are also used to support teeth that may have large fillings, to secure bridges in place, or for cosmetic purposes. You may also need a crown to protect a tooth following a root canal.
Benefits of Crowns
Dental crowns are a long-term, durable option for treating a damaged or decaying tooth. Some benefits of crowns include:
- They Offer Protection – Crowns often prevent a damaged tooth from getting worse. Because they act as a cover, they help to stop or slow down decay.
- They’re Durable – Crowns aren’t always permanent; however, they do tend to last anywhere from 5 to 15 years. Like anything else, the longevity of your crown will ultimately be determined by how you take care of it.
- They Offer Cosmetic Benefits – If your teeth are visibly chipped, broken, or discolored, a crown can serve as a cosmetic option for improving your smile.
Are Dental Implants Or Crowns Best For Me?
Deciding between dental implants and crowns often comes down to whether or not you have a tooth that needs to be extracted. In most cases, dentists or doctors will make every attempt to save your actual tooth. If the tooth can be saved, a crown can be used to protect and support that tooth. However, if your tooth needs to be pulled, a dental implant is a strong, effective replacement treatment that could possibly restore your entire bite strength. As a result, deciding whether or not an implant or a crown is the best treatment option likely depends on the current state of your teeth the severity of any damage or decay.
Visiting a reputable periodontist is the best way to determine if you’re a qualified candidate for dental implants. Your periodontist can conduct a thorough exam and recommend the best treatment plan.
If you’re looking for a good periodontist near Ormond or Daytona Beach that specializes in dental implants, contact us at Ormond Beach Periodontics & Implant Dentistry today. Dr. Stuart Beauchamp can consult with you on various treatment plans and find one that works for your specific needs.