As dental technology has evolved, one of the most significant advancements has been the use of dental implants. However, since many people are familiar with the terms crowns and caps, they often wonder if a crown and dental implant are one and the same. If you also have been wondering about this, here are some key facts and differences of which you should be aware.
What is a Crown?
A traditional dental crown, for years commonly referred to as a cap, essentially fits over a portion of a tooth that is no longer healthy due to decay or disease. However, since the tooth’s root structure is still in place, the crown is supported by this and thus can be placed directly on the tooth once a dentist shapes the remaining tooth structure and fabricates a new crown.
What is a Dental Implant?
When referring to a dental implant, there are in fact many similarities between it and a traditional crown. While the ultimate goal of both is to improve a person’s smile and ability to chew without pain, there is one key difference that separates dental implants from crowns. When a dental implant is used, this means the natural tooth is already missing or needs to be removed due to disease or decay. Thus, if the natural tooth is not there, neither is the root structure that is used for traditional crowns. Therefore, the implant itself becomes the support system for the new tooth, taking the place of a natural tooth’s root.
How are Crowns and Dental Implants Held in Place?
When a traditional crown is used on a tooth, permanent cement is used to bond it into place on the natural tooth. As for dental implants, they are usually retained by small screws inserted into a patient’s gums. Though this may sound very invasive, the procedure is actually quite easy to perform and most patients experience little overall discomfort.
If you have been suffering from teeth that are decaying or have other issues, consider the possibility of crowns or dental implants. To find out which one may be right for you, schedule a consultation soon with your dentist to discuss both options and learn how you can become pain-free and have a great smile.