Choosing the right type of dental treatment for you might seem overwhelming, especially when you may have numerous options to consider. How are you to know if you are making the right choice? No matter what your current dental situation, we will guide you through the steps of each option and why one may be better for you than an alternative.
Why choose dental implants over a crown?
There are a number of reasons why patients need dental implants, with the most common being recurrent decay. If a tooth is considered hopeless, meaning that it has suffered too much decay, it is recommended that the tooth be replaced with a dental implant. A crown is essentially a cap that goes over top of a tooth to repair a small chip or small cavities. The crown needs a certain amount of surface area in order to successfully bond with the natural tooth and ensure that it does not come off. When the tooth has lost too much structure, there is not enough surface area left to adhere the crown to. Crowns can also come off over time as saliva eventually gets underneath and breaks down the product that keeps the crown in place, which can be annoying to some. Since saliva can get underneath the crown over time, that means bacteria and decay can effect the natural tooth under it as well. Too much decay will render the tooth hopeless, and will eventually need to be extracted and replaced with an implant. A dental implant will not be effected by these factors, thus proving to be a better solution long term.
Why choose a crown over a dental implant?
To be blunt, nothing can ever replace your natural teeth exactly. Our teeth don't sit within the jaw bone either; instead it is called a periodontal ligature. This means that the teeth have a natural bounce or spring to them, similar to a knee joint. This allows the teeth to essentially absorb shock and force when chewing. When you replace a tooth with a dental implant, you lose this bounce. If the decay on a particular tooth or teeth is minimal and there is not at high risk for recurrent decay, a crown is most likely your best bet. We prefer to take a conservative approach when planning treatment so you can keep as many natural teeth as possible.
Why not remove the tooth without replacing it?
There are a few crucial things that happen when a single tooth or multiple teeth are extracted. You might not notice these things right away, but over time they can become painful and even effect the surrounding teeth. The first major consequence that occurs is bone loss. Without a tooth root to stimulate the jaw bone and provide adequate blood flow, the bone will die and be absorbed. Marginal bone loss can begin to effect the surrounding teeth because they will not have a solid foundation to hold on to. This can lead to loose or missing teeth down the road. Another thing that happens without the presence of a tooth is super-eruption. If the tooth that opposes the missing tooth on the other jaw, the tooth no longer has something to stop it when biting together. As mentioned above, our teeth are not set into the bone and have a bit of natural movement to them. Without something opposing it, a natural tooth can move it's way out of the socket causing the other teeth to shift. When the other teeth move to fill in the space, it will disrupt the comfortable lock and key positioning of your jaws and cause jaw soreness, muscle stiffness, and pain. This will also make chewing more difficult, and possibly limit the types of food you are able to eat.
We are happy to review the pros and cons for every treatment option available to you during a complementary consultation. Use the Appointment Request form or call the office at 443-569-8764 to schedule.