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Is a Dental Implant the Same as a Dental Crown?

full zirconia crown and a metal ceramic/porcelain jacket dental crown

Is a Dental Implant the Same as a Dental Crown?

If one of your teeth is damaged or has fallen out, you generally have two options: dental implants or dental crowns. Crowns are caps that are fitted to the top part of a damaged tooth that is still secure in your mouth. Dental implants are surgically implanted artificial teeth that replaces your entire missing tooth; a crown is placed on top of the implant to make it look and function like a regular tooth.  

To make an educated decision, you should know each option’s pros and cons. In what follows, we compare dental implants vs. dental crowns based on their uses, the procedures’ duration, and the procedures’ costs.  

Dental Implant vs. Crown: Definition and Usage  

Dental Crown: Definition and Usage  

Dental crowns are fixed porcelain devices fitted over a decayed or damaged tooth to prevent the damage from worsening and improve the overall appearance. Crowns are effective treatment options for improving the strength and appearance of an unsightly, damaged tooth. Generally, dental crowns are used for the following purposes:   

  • Restoring broken or worn-down teeth.  
  • Protecting decayed, cracked, or chipped teeth from growing weaker.  
  • Covering discolored or misshapen teeth to improve appearance.  
  • Supporting a dental bridge (which requires two healthy teeth on each side of the damaged tooth).  
  • Completing a dental implant.  

Dental Implant: Definition and Usage  

On the other hand, rather than being added to a partially natural tooth like crowns, dental implants can be viewed as replacement teeth—either for a missing tooth, multiple missing teeth, failing teeth, or chronic oral problems.   

The implant is a metal post that acts as an artificial root for a missing tooth and appears like a metal screw that is screwed into your jawbone. The post alone is not the replacement tooth. After the implant is installed and the gums have healed, an abutment is secured to the top of the implant, and a crown is cemented to the abutment. The crown is the replacement part that is visible when you smile. Dental implants are becoming the new standard in tooth replacement because they fit, feel, and function like normal teeth. Furthermore, a dental implant is the only tooth replacement option that both maintains jawbone density and stimulates bone growth. However, you must meet a few conditions to qualify for a dental implant:

  • You are missing one or more teeth.  
  • Your gums and bones are healthy enough to secure the implant.  
  • You don’t have health problems that could affect the bone healing process.  
  • You have several months to commit to the procedure.  
  • You don’t smoke tobacco.  

Dental Implant vs. Crown: Cost and Duration of Procedure  

Though dental crowns may appear to require money for completion (as the procedure usually requires only one or two visits), they require regular dental visits and do not last as long as dental implants. Thus, though the upfront cost for crowns is less than for implants, implants often save you money in the long run with fewer subsequent procedures.  

However, the procedure for dental implants can take up to a year, and the recovery process is more intensive than it is for crowns. So, suppose both options are available for your dental issue. In that case, you should consider whether you have enough time to recover from the procedure and attend more frequent dentist appointments during that first year.  

Another critical factor is dental insurance. Most plans cover standard dental plans, while fewer cover dental implants. You should consult with your insurance company for guidance on what is covered.   

In addition, you should also consult a highly trained dentist to find the best solution for your unique needs. Ready for a quick trick? You can obtain a free consultation with the experts at Concierge Dental! 

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