Serious damage to the elements of the dentition, caused by both the development of pathological processes and mechanical injuries, requires medical intervention. Timely restoration is important not only in terms of aesthetics. The destroyed external structure becomes a source of pain, increases the risk of infection of periodontal tissues, and in cases where caries or other diseases are involved, it can provoke further spread. Today, dentistry uses different types of prosthetics. What is better – a crown on a tooth or an implant, what is the difference, and what to choose? The final choice of an artificial structure depends on the indications of the clinical picture, medical recommendations, and the wishes of patients, so it is better to study the features and advantages of each of the methods in advance.
Despite the main functional task – restoring the integrity, functionality, and aesthetics of the dentition – the types of prostheses under consideration differ markedly from each other.
An implant is a configuration that combines three elements: a rod, an abutment, and a crown. For the manufacture of pins, medical titanium is used – a biologically compatible material, the properties of which exclude the occurrence of an allergic reaction and minimize the likelihood of rejection. The artificial root is implanted into the structure of the bone tissue and serves as the basis for the subsequent installation of a connecting fixator and an external part that imitates the form and shape of the removed unit.
Depending on the protocol chosen based on the results of the preliminary examination, the placement of the crown is carried out either immediately after the integration of the implant or after a few months. It should be noted that the second option is more reliable and safe and is suitable, among other things, for the restoration of the frontal sections of the row. For the engraftment period, the gap is closed with a temporary structure that supports aesthetics but does not participate in the bite. The duration of operation of implants, subject to medical recommendations, is not limited – many manufacturers provide a lifetime warranty. Titanium rods are also used as a base for extended bridge structures and complete dentures that replace the entire dentition.
A crown is a prosthetic product, which is created using ceramics, zirconium dioxide, metal, and other types of materials. From a technical point of view, it is an overlay placed on top of the preserved base. Functional tasks – the restoration of the original anatomical structure, and protection of the stump and root part from negative external influences. Before installation, a comprehensive treatment is carried out, which excludes the further development of inflammatory processes and hidden pathologies – with proper implementation of the procedure, the service life of products reaches up to ten years, and in the case of zirconium and metal prostheses, it exceeds the specified threshold value.
Speaking about what is better to put – a dental crown or an implant, and what are the pros and cons of each of the prosthetic methods, it is worth noting the fundamental difference between the protocols under consideration. In the first case, we are talking about the maximum possible preservation of the healthy part of the damaged tooth. The affected tissues are dissected, after which an overlay is placed over the element, restoring its shape and protecting it from further destruction. The second option involves the complete removal of both the external and internal parts, followed by the installation of an artificial structure that performs the same functionality.
Pros and cons of methods
Any method of dental restoration implies the presence of both positive and negative aspects associated with the specifics of its implementation. Let’s consider them in more detail to form a general impression.
Advantages of crowns
Placing an outer shell over a damaged or prepared abutment solves several problems at once. Among the factors that determine the choice in favor of this technique include:
- Manufacturing and installation speed.
- Affordable cost.
- Reliability of materials.
To create the most popular micro prostheses, metal ceramics, and zirconium dioxide are used, which are outwardly indistinguishable from natural tooth enamel and provide sufficient strength, which corresponds to the level of chewing load. The product formed on the basis of a plaster cast or a digital model does not differ from the adjacent elements of the row in shape and shade, which leads to an aesthetically attractive appearance.
Disadvantages of crowns
The main disadvantage of the technology is the need for partial removal of damaged tooth tissues. With significant destruction, depopulation is also prescribed – the extraction of the inner chamber, in the structure of which there are nerve endings and blood capillaries. Such an operation ultimately results in the loss of a unit, since the base ceases to participate in the natural cycle of nutrient metabolism.
In addition, insufficient fit in the area between the gum and the lining contributes to the accumulation of food debris. As a result, the formation of soft plaque, which subsequently transforms into hard deposits, also creates favorable conditions for the reproduction of pathogenic microorganisms. Characteristic symptomatology is the development of caries and inflammatory processes, as well as the appearance of persistent bad breath.
Benefits of Dental implants
The technology of surgical restoration of dentition, which involves the implantation of a titanium rod into the structure of the bone tissue, is considered the most effective today. The formed replacement structure is distinguished by its strength and resistance to mechanical stress, attractive appearance, and long service life. In addition, the installation of implants solves a significant functional problem – the distribution of masticatory load, without which the bone tissue in the adventitia gradually atrophies and decreases.
Research statistics show that the percentage of successful osseointegration in the most popular models reaches the maximum values (99% and above). The biological compatibility of titanium is an essential factor that determines the use of the material in dentistry and other types of prosthetics. With regard to the discussion about which is better – a crown or an implant – it is worth noting that the second method does not involve interaction with adjacent elements of the series, allowing you to maintain the integrity and thickness of the enamel.
Disadvantages of Dental Implants
If we talk about the minuses, then the main one remains the likelihood of rejection of the artificial rod. Despite the minimum number of operations ending in failure, such a chance is still present – and is primarily determined by the individual characteristics of the patient’s body. The presence of pronounced medical contraindications can completely exclude the possibility of prosthetics using implants.
In addition, surgery – regardless of the format – is a health stress by default. After completion of the procedure, which involves the use of anesthetic drugs, manifestations of pain are likely. The duration of rehabilitation, as well as the engraftment of pins, also varies depending on the state of the regenerative function of the tissues. Well, do not forget about the cost of manufacturing – in most cases, implantation is more expensive since it involves the creation of not only an artificial crown but also an internal structure – a rod and an abutment.
None of the considered recovery methods is used in the presence of the following circumstances that act as limiting factors:
- The period of pregnancy and breastfeeding.
- Allergic intolerance to materials of manufacture.
- Diagnosed bruxism is uncontrollable grinding.
- The presence of chronic and progressive pathologies of the jaw.
- Acute phases of infectious diseases.
- Lack of oral hygiene.
In some cases, prosthetics can be resolved immediately after the elimination of a local problem. At the same time, during the preliminary diagnosis, the absence of restrictions inherent in a particular treatment method should also be confirmed.
Contraindications for implants
In the case of complex structures that replace the entire structure of the extracted tooth, installation is prohibited if the following factors are present:
- Oncological neoplasms in the maxillary region.
- Pathologies of the central nervous system, immune or endocrine system.
- Diagnosed tuberculosis.
- Bone deficiency due to atrophy.
- Diseases of the periodontium and mucous membranes.
- Dysfunction of the temporomandibular joint.
Some of these limitations are subject to therapeutic elimination. In situations associated with a decrease in the alveolar process against the background of prolonged dementia, surgical extension is recommended.
Contraindications for crown placement
Placing an overlay over a decayed tooth is a procedure that does not involve radical intervention, which leads to fewer situations that exclude such a solution. Potentially limiting factors include:
- Development of inflammatory and pathological processes in the root structure.
- Mechanical damage to the base, including cracking or root fracture.
- Complete dementia, that is, the absence of all elements of the dentition, excluding the presence of
- support for placing a conditionally removable prosthetic structure.
- Abnormal unit mobility is caused by the weakening of the periodontal ligaments.
- Pronounced defects in the development of the occlusion, leading to incorrect distribution of the load.
When making a comparison – which is better, an implant, an inlay, or a crown of a tooth – it is important to consider how each option differs and what features it has.
Recovery of de-pulped units
In situations where damage or pathology affects the internal structure containing the nerve bundle, the patient experiences acute pain. In the absence of the possibility of stopping the problem, the only option is devitalization (killing the nerve) and depopulation – removal of conductive tissues from the root part. In fact, in terms of participating in the natural processes of the body, the tooth becomes dead as it no longer receives the necessary nutrients. Over time, this leads to a decrease in strength characteristics, due to which the base on which the overlay is placed may be destroyed.
Tetracycline teeth – What is it: Staining Effects & How to Re-Whiten
Implantation eliminates this risk but provides for complete extraction. The root is replaced by a titanium rod so that the distribution of the chewing load remains correct. The operation and the rehabilitation period require more time and are more expensive, but the final result allows you to solve all issues related to the problem unit.
What is better to put on the chewing and front teeth: a ceramic-metal crown or an implant
The choice of prosthetics technique depends on the state of the elements requiring restoration. If the preliminary treatment eliminated all pathological foci, and only the outer part was destroyed, while the pulp and root remained intact, it is recommended to install overlays.
The restoration of the frontal section is characterized by increased requirements for aesthetics. In this case, the best option is the placement of a single prosthesis made of a material without a metal content (ceramic or zirconia).
Posterior teeth are subjected to more severe loads, which leads to preference in favor of the most durable replacement structures. Reliability and functionality in these areas are more important than an attractive appearance, so the use of metal ceramics, as well as other prostheses, is allowed.
If there are doubts about the success of the treatment and prerequisites indicating a high probability of recurrence of the pathology, it is recommended to replace it with an implant. Modern techniques allow for an operation according to an express protocol when the pin is inserted into the hole formed at the site of the just removed unit. The technology reduces the duration of osseointegration and increases the likelihood of successful engraftment.
Comparison of prices for implantation and overlay prosthetics
An important factor is the cost of restoration. When compared to determining which is cheaper – an implant or a crown on a tooth – the integration of an artificial titanium rod usually turns out to be more expensive. The final cost is influenced by many aspects – from the current state of both the unit itself and the oral cavity as a whole, and ending with the choice of materials for the manufacture of a replacement structure. So, by contacting the specialists of Dentika dental centers, you can choose the appropriate restoration option, focusing on the following budget:
- Prosthetics with ceramic-metal – from 15,000 rubles.
- Installation of ceramic and zirconium overlays – from 31,000 rubles.
- Two-stage “turnkey” implantation – from 65,500 rubles.
All proposed procedures are accompanied by a guarantee, exclude the occurrence of negative side effects, and provide a complete restoration of the functionality and aesthetics of the dentition.
What to choose – summing up
Thus, comparing the proposed methods, we can compile the following visual table:
- Characteristic / Method——Implants——Crowns
- Injury of the procedure——–high—————Low
- Duration———–Up to six months———-From two days
- Reliability of fixation————-Optimal———–Above average
- The need for a replacement————No————Yes
- Application conditions———–Any element of the row————-Having a whole root
- Lifetime————–Is not limited—————5-15 years old
Understanding what a crown and a dental implant are and the difference between one and the other makes it much easier to decide in favor of a suitable option. Undoubtedly, implantation is by far the most effective and practical method of restoration, excluding problems in the future. However, the principles of dental treatment are focused primarily on the preservation of living elements and the creation of conditions that protect them from further destruction. The final choice should be based on medical recommendations and indications of the clinical picture.