If you are missing a tooth and are looking for the right solution to restore your smile, you have a few choices, two of which are dental implants in Mankato or crowns. While a thorough examination by your dentist is required before moving forward with any type of restorative dentistry, it is important that you weigh your options before seeking treatment. Take some time to learn the difference between implants and crowns. As a result, you will become more well-informed on which method of treatment might be best for you.
What Are Dental Crowns?
For patients who prefer a less invasive treatment option, dental crowns can safely and effectively replace missing teeth in Mankato. When fused together with two additional crowns, the prosthetic you will receive is a fixed bridge. Not only will this fill in the gap left behind by the missing tooth, but it will also prevent nearby teeth from shifting out of place.
Your healthy teeth that exist on either side of the gap will be used as anchors. Once they are prepared and the bridge is complete, the two outer crowns will fit snugly over your natural teeth while the crown in the middle will rest on top of your gums. This will create the look of a fully restored smile, especially since your bridge will match the color, size, and shape of the rest of your smile.
With a dental crown and bridge fixture, there is no surgery required, and you can care for your custom restoration just as you would your regular teeth.
What Are Dental Implants?
Dental implants are titanium posts that mimic the natural structure of a tooth. Surgically implanted into your jawbone, implants are designed to create a stable foundation for your custom-made restoration. A typical dental implant consists of the post, an abutment, and a dental crown.
Once the implant is placed, you will spend 3-6 months healing at home and allowing the implant to fuse to the jawbone in a process known as osseointegration. As soon as your dentist feels that you have healed properly, you will return to have your abutment, which is the small, metal appliance that connects the implant and restoration, and a dental crown put into place.
What Are the Differences Between a Crown and an Implant?
To help you decide which treatment option might be best for your individual needs, here are a few of the major differences between an implant and a crown:
- Longevity: A dental implant can last 30 years or longer with proper care and maintenance while a fixed bridge may only last a decade or so.
- Invasiveness: With a dental crown and bridge fixture, there is no surgery required; however, dental implants do require a surgical procedure.
- Cost: The complexity of dental implants as well as their materials make them a more costly investment than a traditional crown and bridge prosthetic. If you consider which restoration will provide a more worthwhile investment, a dental implant will be more cost-effective because of its longevity and other added benefits.
- Jawbone: With a dental crown and bridge, there is nothing inside the vacated socket continuing to stimulate the jawbone, which can lead to bone deterioration. With dental implants, the tooth structure is replicated by placing the post into the jawbone, so the chances of the bone weakening are much less.
Benefits of Dental Implants
Depending on your personal preferences, you might find that dental implants present far greater benefits than a traditional crown and bridge. Some of these include:
- Improved appearance and confidence
- No chance of your implant decaying
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Greater functionality when eating, speaking, or chewing
- A restoration that can last 30+ years with proper care
- Improved oral health due to continual bone stimulation
- Fewer food restrictions while wearing dental implants
While a traditional crown can close the gap in your smile, only a dental implant will be able to fully restore it from the root up. If you are still unsure which option you prefer, talk to your dentist about additional aspects of treatment that can help you make a more well-informed, confident decision.
About the Author
Dr. James Kalina completed his undergraduate studies at the University of North Dakota before going on to enroll at the University of Nebraska Medical Center to earn his dental degree. With advanced education in laser dentistry, clear braces, and E4D Same-Day Crowns, Dr. Kalina is proud to provide his patients with the latest in dental advancements. His knowledge and training make him an expert in restoring smiles with the help of dental crown and dental implant restoration. To learn more about how dental implants can help you, contact us via the website or by calling (507) 625-2021.