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ASK YOUR DENTIST 22 - Implant or Crown

“Dear Doctor,

I recently had a tooth extracted, and I do not know what to do. After researching dental implants, I found out about peri-implantitis, and how it seems that dental implants are not a permanent solution to tooth loss at all. They are much more expensive, and I was wondering, why should I get a dental implant instead of a crown? It seems like I will lose all my teeth anyway, I might as well spend less….

Love, Helen”

Dear Helen,

This is a very sensitive topic, and I will try my best to give you a fair and honest answer. First off, I want to congratulate you on being a discerning patient and customer, and for taking the time to research the problems that can be associated with dental implants. It is a pleasure to have a patient like you, as the treatment goes so much smoother if both parties know what is about to happen, and can aid each other a well. This being said, I don’t think you understand all of the factors involved, and I wish to clear up some things if I may.

implant crown


Peri-implantitis is not inevitable, and it does not affect all patients who will get dental implants. The typical time frame for the development of peri-implantitis is roughly 15 years. This is also important, as crowns do not stop the disintegration of your alveolus at all, while dental implants will do so for 15 more years on average, and that is IF you develop peri-implantitis. This means that no matter how conservative an estimate you take, it simply much more worth it to get a dental implant. Take the financial aspect of it. Losing your teeth will mean loss of money, as you will have to keep on getting crowns and bridges, not to mention getting dentures once all of the teeth are gone. With a dental implant, you may have a greater initial investment, but afterwards you will have stopped the breaking down of your alveolus, which means you will have saved a ton of money, as the rest of your teeth will remain in their place for longer.

Of course the health benefits must be mentioned as well. Not losing your teeth will have a positive impact on your health, in that your jaws will not have to get accustomed to different kinds of bits each time you lose a tooth form having a disintegrating alveolus. This means you are protecting the health of your jaws. But maintaining healthy structures in the mouth is also healthy in and of itself, as it is beneficial to have an alveolus.

As you can see, even if you develop peri-implantitis, which is not at all sure that you will, it is still more worth it to get dental implants. I do hope this will persuade you to get dental implants, as this is a better solution towards tooth replacement than any other one.  

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