If you have had filings, decay or have suffered trauma and wish to improve the appearance of your smile, then there are several options that are available. Two options are those of crowns and dental implants. So what is the difference between the two treatments? Below we explain why and when you should have a crown or dental implant.
Crowns are often referred to as a cap and this perfectly describes their role. The crown acts as a cap to cover the tooth. The crown is made from strong acrylic and looks very much like a natural tooth. Crowns are used for a variety of reasons. When a tooth has suffered severe decay and there is not enough tooth left to bind a filling to it, then a crown is the next obvious choice. Another reason for using a crown include teeth that are discoloured, broken teeth due to trauma and uneven teeth. Crowns help to preserve the tooth that is left and look aesthetically pleasing. It is very important that good levels of oral hygiene are maintained when caring for a crown, as you need to preserve the tooth that is underneath the crown as well as the teeth that are situated either side.
A dental implant is an artificial root that replaces the root of a natural tooth following decay or trauma, when the tooth needs to be removed. This is different to a crown, as the crown is simply the top part of the tooth that is visible in the mouth. An implant is the actual root that sits in the jawbone. Having a dental implant is more invasive than having a crown fitted, as the dental implant needs to be inserted into the jaw bone, where it will fuse and act as a natural tooth. This will then create a sturdy root and a solid foundation for a replacement crown, denture or bridge. Dental implants are the next best thing to having natural teeth. As they are secured firmly into the jaw, they will not move or rub the gums like dentures.
Crowns v Dental Implants
So to summarise, a dental implant and crown have very different jobs to perform. The crown is used for cosmetic reasons and to preserve what is left of a natural tooth. Dental implants are used when there is no longer a viable tooth, due to injury, decay or trauma. The implant acts as a support for a false tooth that includes crowns, bridges and dentures.