Dental Implants vs Dental Crowns

February 27, 2024

Filed under: Uncategorized — drruiz @ 6:52 am

Sometimes, with the amount of different dental procedures that are there, it can be tough to remember which is which. We get it!

Two of the dental procedures that people mix up are dental implants and dental crowns.

The reality is that these two couldn’t be more different, with each having a different purpose and different workflow. And if you’re noticing problems with your teeth, it’s important to understand what your options are. So, keep reading this guide to understand the differences between dental implants and dental crowns.

What is a dental implant?

dental implant is a tooth replacement that can be used to replace one or more missing teeth. It starts with a dental implant post, which is a screw made out of titanium that is inserted into your jawbone that serves as a substitute for your tooth root. A replacement tooth will then be connected to an abutment or the connector that is placed on top of the dental implant.

What is a dental crown?

dental crown is a tooth-shaped cap that is used to restore weak, broken, and decayed teeth. It fits over your whole tooth and is used to:

  • Strengthen a weak tooth
  • Restore a broken tooth
  • Restore a worn-down tooth
  • Protect a cracked tooth
  • Hold a dental bridge in place
  • Cover a dental implant
  • Cover a discolored tooth
  • Cover a root canal-treated tooth

The differences between dental implants & dental crowns

Dental implants and dental crowns are very different and have very different use cases. Here are some of the main differences.

Dental implants are more expensive

Dental implants are more expensive than dental crowns, mainly because there are more steps involved in getting a dental implant, as you’ll need to have multiple appointments with your dentist. Also, while most dental insurance plans cover crowns, dental implants are not always covered

Dental implants take more time

As we stated, dental implants take more time than dental crowns. Dental implants involve a 4-step process:

  1. Consultation — you’ll meet with your dentist for an initial consultation to go over your dental health history as well as your jawbone density. Your dentist will then determine if you’re a candidate for treatment.
  2. Dental implant surgery — Your dentist will administer local anesthesia to the area where you’ll be getting your implant, and then insert the implant posts into your jawbone. The implants will begin to fuse with the bone after the gum tissue closes. 
  3. Dental implant osseointegration/abutment — For 3-6 months, the osseointegration process will occur. Once the implant is fully fused with your jawbone, you’ll return for the metal abutments.
  4. Dental implant restoration — Once your dentist has confirmed that you’re ready to receive your custom restoration, the dental crown, implant bridge, or implant denture will be secured onto the abutment.

Dental crowns, on the other hand, take less time. The typical steps of getting a dental crown include.

  1. Initial examination — Your dentist will examine the tooth in question and confirm that the appropriate treatment is a crown.
  2. Preparation of your tooth — Your dentist will remove the decay from your natural tooth and prepare it for the crown and ensure it will stay in place once bonded. They might also use filling material to build up parts of your tooth to create a good foundation.
  3. Dental impressions — Your dental team will then take impressions of your tooth and send them to a dental lab where the technician will create your custom dental crown.
  4. Temporary crown placement — As the dental lab will usually take about two to three weeks to create your new crown, your dentist will give you a temporary one while you wait.
  5. Final crown placement — Once your dentist has received your crown from the dental lab, they will remove the temporary crown, check the shape, color and fit of the new crown, and bond it to your tooth.

The process of getting a dental crown is obviously shorter than that of a dental implant (a couple of weeks vs 3-6 months). While this usually involved two dental visits, there is also the option to get it done in just one visit. At Dr. Ruiz & Associates, we offer the CEREC same-day dental crown in which we will prepare your tooth, create your crown, and place the crown in one appointment. Click here to learn more about this shorter process.

Dental implant posts are permanent

While dental crowns typically last about 5 to 15 years, the dental implant post is designed to be permanent. Since getting a dental crown is often involved in both procedures (as crowns are often the tooth replacement placed on the abutment of a dental implant), the longevity of a crown is important for both. They may last longer, upwards of 30 years, with proper maintenance.

Dental implants are more invasive

A dental implant is far more invasive than a dental crown. It involves dental surgery and can take months to fully heal. Dental crowns, on the other hand, are less invasive and may just take a few days or a week to heal. At Dr. Ruiz & Associates, Dr. Ruiz offers an even less invasive approach with dental crowns by removing only the damaged tissue and avoiding the gumline. 

Visit Dr. Ruiz & Associates, Inc for a dentist in Burbank, CA

There are many different treatment options available in dentistry. And if you are dealing with a problem, whether it’s cosmetic, pain-related, or something else, talk to your dentist to discuss what your options are and what they recommend. 

And if you’re in need of a dentist in Burbank, come visit our office! Dr. Ruiz is a renowned dentist, educator, and researcher who is known as a pioneer in supra-gingival minimally invasive dentistry, or “above the gums dentistry.” This is a healthier form of dentistry that protects soft oral tissues and produces long-lasting, beautiful results. 

And all of our staff are trained in these techniques.

Check out our Google reviews and schedule an appointment with us today!

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