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Dental Implants and Crowns – what are they?

Dental Implants and Crowns – what are they?

by | Jun 12, 2017 | Blog

Unsure what is meant by the terms dental implants and crowns? Simply put, they are both dental procedures, which are used as a response to missing or damaged teeth. In order to clarify these terms, Proactive Dental will now discuss the main ‘what, when, why’ questions for you.

Dental implants

Dental implants, often referred to as just ‘implants’, are artificial tooth roots. These artificial roots are shaped as little cylindrical posts and get inserted into the jaw bone in order to fuse with the natural bone, thus becoming a strong foundation for a replacement tooth.

  • When are dental implants needed?
    Dental implants are needed in the process of replacing missing natural teeth.
  • What are implants made from?
    Implants are almost exclusively made from medically pure titanium. This is because titanium is a very strong and durable material. Also, as the implants need to end up fusing to the jaw bone, titanium is a material that is able to do this quickly and with no issues.
  • Why are implants needed?
    Artificial tooth roots are needed to be inserted (implanted) into the jawbone as a method of securing replacement teeth. If artificial replacement teeth aren’t secured, they would just fall out with light use. By securing them through implants, your replacement teeth will be able to function as normal natural teeth.


Crowns are prosthetic teeth that fit over existing teeth. A crown can be both a form of dental restoration and a replacement tooth. When used as dental restoration, the crown is cemented into place by fully capping the portion of a tooth which lies at and above the gum line. When used as a replacement tooth, crowns are fixed to dental implants.

  • When are crowns needed?
    Crowns are needed when a tooth is too badly decayed to receive just a filling. Crowns are also needed as a part of replacing missing natural teeth with prosthetics.
  • What are crowns made from?
    Crowns can be made from porcelain or gold, as each have beneficial properties. Metal alloys, such as gold, are used for durability as they are strong and hard. Gold is often used for molars as they are the teeth that must withstand the greatest force due to their role as the grinders and crushers of the mouth. Porcelain is also strong but has added benefits. These benefits include being able to match the colour of natural teeth, is resistant to staining. Whilst porcelain is also strong, it has natural looking benefits. Porcelain can be made to match the colour of the natural teeth, this is great because it makes spotting a crowned tooth very difficult as they blend into your natural smile. Also, an additional benefit of porcelain crowns is that they are resistant to staining and can be cleaned if they do become stained.

    Given the properties and benefits of both materials, it is common to have crowns made from a combination of porcelain and metal alloy.

  • Why are crowns needed?
    Crowns are the only way to create prosthetic teeth that are the size, shape and function of your natural teeth. Most dentists will agree that an artificial crown is often the best way to save a tooth and strengthen it. Crowns are used to repair and save badly decayed, broken, discoloured, or misaligned teeth.Some things to remember:

    • While you are waiting for your permanent crown to be fabricated, your dentist will provide you with a temporary one to wear.
    • Crowns can last up to ten years or longer! They are an investment in that sense and in order to keep them for as long as possible, good oral hygiene is essential. Crowns should be treated as natural teeth in your dental hygiene habits, brushing twice a day and flossing is vital.
Proactive Dental hopes you now have a better understanding of what crowns and dental implants are. Seeking out information about dental procedures and terminology is always helpful. The more you understand the more you can clarify during your appointment or gain a deeper understanding of the process and materials used in a dental procedure.

We are always happy to answer questions. For any more information regarding dental implants and crowns, please don’t hesitate to contact us.