Many people think that if they have a crown recommended by their dentist, they will be receiving a dental implant. In fact, crowns are not implants at all. In certain circumstances, your dentist could tell you that you need implants or a crown because either treatment method is appropriate in your case. That said, crowns are often considered to be less invasive treatments that are more like having a filling. If you have either treatment mentioned by your dentist during a check-up, then it is worth knowing the differences between them. Read on to find what distinguishes one from another.
Having a Dental Implant Procedure
A dental implant procedure is an alternative to having a crown or a bridge which will result in a permanent fixing for a dental prosthesis. Implants are inserted directly into the jawbone beneath the gum, which means that having a procedure of this kind will require a general anaesthetic. Dental implants are often recommended when you have a severely decayed tooth or teeth that cannot be saved by placing a cap on them.
Even if your tooth can be saved by placing a crown on it, some patients prefer to undergo surgery so a dental implant can be fitted anyway. If the surgery is successful, a patient's jawbone will fuse with the metal of an implant so it makes an incredibly secure anchor point. Metals like titanium tend to be used for dental implants because they are light, don't corrode in the mouth and are durable enough to withstand normal chewing and biting. Teeth that are near to implants are nearly always completely unaffected by them being inserted.
Having a Crown Fitted
Crowns can be made of a variety of materials, but porcelain ones are popular in Australia these days. Unlike an implant, a crown — or a cap as they are sometimes known — is fitted over the remaining part of a tooth. Crowns can cover up the soft pulp of a damaged tooth so that they are no longer sore, but if the root is unhealthy, then a crown can wobble after some time has passed.
White crowns are available, which are indistinguishable from real teeth, so a cosmetic dentist may recommend them to improve the appearance of a tooth as well as to repair it. In some cases, crowns are used to support bridges or to even make a filling more long-lasting.
Generally speaking, crowns only require a local anaesthetic to be administered, and having one fitted is less costly than a dental implant treatment.