What to choose a pin or tab for a crown

Modern dentistry offers many options for the treatment and prosthetics of teeth. Whatever your problem, modern technology will help you. However, such an abundance of methods of treatment and prosthetics makes people think about what is better in one case or another. Which option is optimal, and do they overpay for dentists. When it comes to what is better in treating a broken tooth, it is difficult to see even the differences between the pin and the tab and it is completely unclear what to choose.

Any dental procedure has advantages and disadvantages, and in any case, you and your attending dentist should choose. However, one cannot fail to notice that the stump tab for the crown is a more modern method, characterized by relatively good strength and a long wear period. The pins, despite the seemingly ease of manufacture, in the process of wearing require a more attentive attitude and more frequent visits to the dentist for correction.

In any case, the specialist can always more objectively evaluate the clinical picture of the patient’s tooth condition and choose the optimal treatment option that will suit both financially and qualitatively.


What is a tooth pin? This is a metal rod that is installed directly in the root of the tooth. The pin is used to strengthen the tooth and create the basis for subsequent prosthetics. It is usually used in cases when no more than 50% is left from the tooth root.

The pins are made of polymers (ceramic composite, carbon fiber, fiberglass) or of metals (gold, platinum, titanium, palladium and stainless steel). The material is selected, first of all, based on the required properties, for example, if it is necessary to perform prosthetics on the front teeth, fiberglass is ideal for this purpose, and metal pins are best for severely damaged teeth. Well, carbon fiber is a versatile material that is suitable for any teeth.

An important point is the method of fastening the pin. Distinguish:

  • Active mounting method. Threaded pin screwed into tooth root. Usually used in case of complete destruction of the tooth crown. But it is important to remember that there is a risk of a root split.
  • Passive mounting method. The pin is cylindrical in shape, usually made of carbon fiber or fiberglass, which is mounted on special cement. Does not burden the root of the tooth.
Crown tab

Full name – pin stump tab under the crown. Another device for prosthetics. What is different from a pin? The fact that it consists of two parts, one is the pin itself, and the second repeats the tooth completely in shape and can even be used without the crown itself.

Tabs are divided into two main types:

  1. Folding, characterized in that they are difficult to pick up and install, but at the same time they are very reliable. This design option implies the ability to add or remove the necessary pins, and is usually used to restore teeth with a complex root system.
  2. Cast, manufactured by exposure to very high temperatures and under pressure. The lower (root) part is a mount for the root system and is made in the form of a rod, and the upper is a repetition of the shape of the crown. It looks like a tooth stump, prepared for the installation of the crown, so very often you can see how this tab option is called stump.

Materials can be different and are selected on the basis of price / quality ratio. The most popular are composite and metal, since at a low price they are quite durable and not so laborious to manufacture. Ceramic are considered the most aesthetic and most similar to enamel. Well, the zirconium ones combine the strength of metal and the aesthetics of ceramics, so the price for them is very high, and, therefore, they are not popular.

What do they have in common

These dental treatments have a lot in common. Firstly, they can be used only when the root of the tooth remains. It is impossible to apply them if there is no tooth base, since they do not affect the jaw. Secondly, they are installed only after removal of the nerve, and it is very important that the specialist clean the canals well and then fill them. Well, and thirdly, that for pins, that for tabs, the same tools and techniques are used.

What is the difference

Bypassing all kinds of dental subtleties that are understandable only to specialists, we can distinguish fundamental differences:

  1. The pin presses on the root of the tooth, which in the future can lead to destruction and deformation of the root, the stump tab almost eliminates the load on the base of the tooth. Moreover, the pin may even become loose due to uneven loading. And at the same time, it is necessary to remember that there is pressure on adjacent teeth.
  2. The life of the pins and tabs varies greatly – while the tab can last about ten years, the pin lasts no more than three years.
  3. The pin can disconnect at any time, since it is not made of one material, the tab is not subject to such a problem, because even if the structure is collapsible, it is in any case made of one material.
  4. Making a pin is much easier than making a tab, which means that if you decide to use the tab, you will have to visit the dentist’s office more often. After all, for the manufacture of the tab you need to conduct all kinds of research, so that then in the dental laboratory a suitable drawing is made.
  5. The installation process, despite the similarities in technology, has an important difference – in the case of the installation of a pin, one trip to the dentist is enough, when it comes to the tab, then at least two visits to the dental office.
  6. The pin is not suitable for restoring teeth with a curved root system. In such cases, it is ideal to use the tab.
  7. Well, and the most important difference is the cost. Due to the complexity of manufacturing, the stump tab will cost much more.
  8. However, the installation of the pin involves a more gentle preparation of the tooth for the procedure, while to install the tab will have to remove much more tissue.

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