Can’t decide between a dental implant vs. crown? Both restorative dental procedures are common. Nearly 2.3 million patients get implant-supported dental crowns each year. If you’re considering a restorative dental procedure like a crown or an implant, you probably have a lot of questions:

  • Is an implant or crown better?
  • When is an implant needed?
  • What’s the difference between implants and crowns?
  • Are dental implants better than crowns?
  • Should I get a crown or implants for my front teeth?

Knowing the differences, benefits, and drawbacks of dental implants vs. crowns can help you make the best decision for you! So, let’s talk about crowns vs implants as well as the pros and cons of each.

What Is a Dental Implant? When Is an Implant Needed?

A dental implant is a titanium post that’s surgically placed into your jawbone. It serves as a replacement for a missing tooth. Once the implant has healed and fused with the bone, your dentist attaches a custom-made crown to the implant, creating a natural-looking, functional tooth.

So, when is an implant needed? Dentists often use dental implants when a tooth is not savable, or there is already a missing tooth. They might also recommend an implant to support a dental bridge or a complete set of dentures.

What Is a Dental Crown, and When Is It Used?

A dental crown is a cap placed over an existing tooth to restore its shape, size, strength, and function. Crowns are used to restore a tooth that has decayed, compromising the structure of the tooth, specifically the top of the tooth (aka the “crown”). 

Crowns can improve the appearance of a tooth that’s misshapen, discolored, or has gaps. In some cases, your dentist may use a dental crown to support a dental bridge or to cover a dental implant.

What’s the Difference Between Implants and Crowns?

Now that we know what dental implants and crowns are, let’s dive a bit deeper into the difference between implants and crowns.

Dental Implant vs. Crown: Attachment

One of the most significant differences between implants and crowns is the way they’re attached. Dental implants are surgically placed into your jawbone so they can fuse with the bone over time. This process, known as osseointegration, makes dental implants one of the most stable and durable options for tooth replacement.

Dental crowns, on the other hand, aren’t surgically placed. Instead, your dentist will cement or bond the crown to your existing teeth. However, people don’t normally have the ability to choose between crowns vs. implants; it ultimately depends on the health of your tooth. When possible, you should retain your natural teeth.

Crowns vs. Implants: Materials

Another key difference between these two common restorative dental procedures is the materials they’re made of. Dental implants are made of titanium, a biocompatible metal that’s well tolerated by the human body. Fun fact: Titanium has been used in medical implants for more than 50 years!

Dental crowns, on the other hand, can be made of a variety of different materials, including:

  • Porcelain
  • Ceramic
  • Zirconia
  • Gold
  • Base metal alloys

Each material offers different benefits in strength, durability, and appearance. Your dentist can help you choose the right material for your needs.

Tooth Implant vs. Crown: Cost

The cost of dental implants and dental crowns varies depending on several factors, including the materials and the complexity of the procedure. In general, dental implants are more expensive than dental crowns. Out of pocket, crowns cost anywhere from $1,500 to $2,000 while implants cost between $5,000 and $7,000.

Keep in mind that dental implants are a long-term investment. With proper care, they can last a lifetime, so they’re actually more affordable in the long run.

The Pros and Cons of a Dental Implant

Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of teeth implants vs. crowns. 

Here are just a few of the many advantages of dental implants:

  • They’re strong and durable.
  • They’re designed to mimic the function of natural teeth.
  • They’re a long-term investment.
  • They’re made of biocompatible materials.

What about the cons of dental implants? Are dental implants better than crowns? Not always! Dental implants have some disadvantages:

  • The cost can be prohibitive. 
  • They require surgery. 
  • They have a longer recovery time.

The Pros and Cons of Dental Crowns

There are many advantages to choosing dental crowns::

  • They’re less expensive than dental implants.
  • They don’t require surgery. 
  • They have a shorter recovery time. 
  • They keep your natural tooth. 

But there are certainly some disadvantages to dental crowns:

  • They might require replacement more frequently than dental implants.

So, is it better to get a crown or an implant?

We really can’t say. The answer depends on your specific situation, oral health, and the professional recommendation of a dentist. Ideally, we recommend keeping your natural teeth as long as possible. Book an appointment today to learn more about dental implants vs crowns.

Visit Northside Dental Co. Your Dental Implant vs. Crown Expert in Richmond, VA

If you’re looking for a quality dental practice that can help you decide whether you need a dental implant or a crown, Northside Dental Co. is the perfect choice.

Our dental experts have been serving the Richmond community for over 25 years, helping our patients get and maintain healthy, beautiful smiles. From cosmetic to restorative dentistry – and everything in between – we offer a comprehensive range of dental services that will meet your unique needs.

Now that you have answers to questions like:

  • Is an implant or crown better?
  • When is an implant needed?
  • What’s the difference between implants and crowns?
  • Are dental implants better than crowns?
  • Should I get a crown or implants for front teeth?

It’s time to figure out which option is best for you. To learn more about our practice or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.