If one of your teeth is badly damaged, you may be forced to choose between either having a crown placed over it or having it extracted so a dental implant can be fitted. The process of having a dental implant installed might put you off; after all, the tooth needs to be extracted, and then supporting structures need to be drilled in. Additionally, the initial cost of a dental implant is typically quite a bit higher than that of a simple crown.
However, there are a number of reasons why it's worth having the dental implant instead of the crown. Here are just four.
1. Dental Implants Are a Permanent Solution
First and foremost, dental implants are a permanent solution to the problem of your damaged tooth. It might seem like a downside that the problem tooth needs to be extracted, but once this is done you will be able to rely on the implant for decades into the future. In contrast, crowns need to be replaced every so often, and you may eventually need the tooth below to be extracted anyway if further damage occurs.
2. Dental Implants Are Stronger Than Crowns
Dental implants are extremely secure. Unlike crowns, they do not depend on either the underlying tooth structure or the surrounding teeth for support. This means that crowns can come lose due to excessive wear or a poor fit; since dental implants are drilled into a foundation attached to the jawbone, they are very unlikely to come lose. Of course, crowns can always be replaced, but it can be incredibly embarrassing and inconvenient for one to come out, and it's nicer to enjoy the peace of mind that comes when you bite into something tough without having to worry about a tooth coming loose.
3. Dental Implants Can Be More Cost-Effective
Dental implants do tend to cost significantly more than crowns in terms of initial cost, but they often end up less expensive in the long run. Since crowns may fall out and will almost certainly need to be replaced, the costs can add up over their lifetime.
4. Dental Implants Prevent Further Treatment
A crown is used to cover up the surface of a damaged tooth. Unfortunately, it's possible for small cracks to form in the crown, which will make the underlying tooth susceptible to decay. Crowns may fail because of this, and decay can work its way down beneath the tooth, resulting in the need for a root canal. With a dental implant, there is no remaining tooth structure left over to become decayed.