What is the difference between a crown and an implant crown?

While it can be hard to tell the difference between a regular tooth and a crown, it can be even harder to tell the difference amongst different types of crowns. Some may not even know that there is a difference. But there are a few key differences between a crown and an implant crown.

So, what are the differences between a crown and an implant crown?

Differences between crowns and implant crowns:

  1. A crown uses a tooth for support while an implant crown uses an implant to support itself.

Crowns are used as a protective cap over teeth. Usually they are used when a tooth has a cavity and needs to be shaved down significantly to remove the infection. Crowns are placed over reshaped teeth after work has been done on the tooth.

For implant crowns, the purpose is the same but the “cap” is supported by a metal post called an abutment. It does not cover a tooth as the implant replaces the space where the tooth was. Implants are a good alternative for when teeth cannot be saved and must be extracted or if there is a space between teeth that need a tooth to fill the area.


2.  Crowns and implant crowns are secured differently.

Crowns are usually “cemented” on the reshaped tooth. This allows the crown to be more reliably anchored onto the tooth. However, with this method, the crown is not “retrievable”, meaning it cannot be taken on and off easily. In order to remove a cemented crown, the crown must be shaved down and broken be removed. When removing a crown, a new crown will need to be made in order to replace the one removed.


For implant crowns, the crown is screwed into the abutment and covered with cotton and a filling material. Implant crowns are usually retrievable, meaning they can be easily removed without cutting into the crown and requiring the crown to be remade. This allows for dentists to evaluate and alter the implant crown more easily than a normal crown.


Now not all offices use a screw obtained implant crown, some offices prefer to cement an implant crown on the abutment, treating it more similarily to a normal crown. In our office, we use screw retained implant crowns, because we prefer to have the ability to remove the crown and make adjustments as needed.

Similarities between crowns and implant crowns:

Despite these differences, there are quite a few similarities between crowns and implant crowns. They are both made of the same materials ( porcelain ceramic) and have the same purpose of replacing a tooth. In our in-house lab, we make both crowns and implant crowns with customized shade and shape.


More information:

If you would like to know more about crowns and implant crowns, or if you would like to know what would be the best option for you, you can call us at 703-815-0699 or email us at info@chantillydentalimplant.com to schedule an appointment.


Call (703) 815-0699 for Complimentary Implant Consultation!