There are many reasons why you might want – and need – to fix your teeth. Generally, the reasons you want to fix your teeth are cosmetic. You want the perfect smile. You want to fix any unsightly issues to bring your teeth back to a healthy, beautiful place. You want to fix any pain you might be having and allow your mouth to feel strong and back to solid working order.

Chances are, any cosmetic or pain reasons you have for wanting to fix your teeth are related to an underlying health issue. It’s almost impossible to separate the two. If your teeth are chipped, for example, that may seem like a cosmetic concern, but in reality, chipped teeth are dangerous to the health of your mouth and your other teeth. Chipped teeth can lead to unnecessary grinding on surrounding teeth, causing your jawbone to start to deteriorate, your neck to hurt, etc.

So, no matter your reasons for wanting to fix your smile, the decision is most likely a very necessary one to make. Much of the time, two of the procedures you might need will either be crowns or implants. There is a lot of information out there about both options, but it’s very important to get the right information and to speak with your Phoenix dentist about what will work for you. Below is a guide to understanding the difference between the two procedures.


Silver or porcelain fillings are the most common types of adjustments made to teeth that have cavities or similar damage. However, when a big part of the tooth has to be removed for a filling, dental crowns (or caps) are used. Dental crowns entirely replace the tooth’s outer later, redefining the natural shape and size of the tooth. Dental crowns are permanently bonded over a tooth. Crowns are also used for attaching bridges, covering oddly shaped or discolored teeth, protecting weak or fractured teeth from further fracturing and covering dental implants.

All crowns have to adhere to a specific level of thickness in order to create strength and shade. During the fitting process, teeth must be trimmed about 1/6 of an inch. Before trimming, your dentist will remove decay or other damaged parts of the tooth. To fit the crown tightly and with ease, the damaged tooth will need to be tapered a little bit. The dental crown is then formed by the tooth’s shape. It is secured with dental cement. Sometimes filling needs to be added to secure the crown and develop a strong foundation.

After the trimming, there will need to be impressions made. Your impressions are sent to a dental lab where a plaster cast is made that helps the dentist create the crown. Crowns can also be made using the CEREC (Chairside Economical Restoration of Esthetic Ceramics) machine, but be sure to ask your dentist before using this option.

Before your crowns are made, you will be discussing with your dentist the right shade for your mouth. You will consult a tooth color guide, and the cast isn’t ordered until the right choice has been made.


So while dental crowns are utilized to cover dental implants, when do you need dental implants? Dental implants are permanent replacements to missing teeth. They act as anchors and as teeth roots. Dental implants begin with a titanium post fitted into the jaw bone, via surgery. Molds are then made for the replacement crown. As the bone heals around the implant, the implant fuses and creates a foundation for the replacement tooth.

Dental implants are a smart option for those who cannot use bridges or who do not want dentures. They also maintain bone support, helping the overall health of the mouth and jaw. Dental implants help prevent bone loss since they fuse to the jaw bone. Preventing bone loss is key to preventing other issues, such as shifting facial structure, bite issues and pain.

Dental implants take a few months to impact your mouth. Dental implants require a consultation, x-rays, surgery and waiting for the jaw bone to fuse to the implant. Following bone fusion, the crown is placed. However, it will still take time for a person to be able to put full bite force down on the area of the implant and crown. At this time, patients should avoid biting down on hard surfaces, such as nuts or ice.


Before you decide if you need crowns or implants, it is important to speak with your Phoenix dentist. Everyone’s needs and mouths are unique, and your dentist will give you the best options to fit your needs. If you pain, it is especially important not to address the issue yourself! You never know what can be causing that pain and where it originated. Your Phoenix dentist can find these things out safely and will educate you on how to deal with any issues you have with your smile.