27 MAY 2021
Root Canal Vs Implant: Which Option Is Best for Me?
If you have a badly decayed tooth, you may think extraction is the only course of action. However, root canal treatment may be able to provide a less costly alternative to having the tooth replaced with an implant.
Dental implants and root canals are different treatments for severe tooth decay that can’t be fixed with a regular filling.
But how do you know which option is right for you? Here are some pointers to help you decide!
What is Root Canal Treatment?
A root canal – also known as endodontics – is a treatment for a tooth with dead nerves. The problem usually arises through severe decay or an oral injury.
Treatment entails removal of diseased tooth pulp, nerves and blood vessels, and cleaning, filling and sealing the area. Thanks to advances in technology, pain-free laser dentistry is now available for root canal treatment.
What Are Dental Implants?
A dental implant is a small rod that’s surgically inserted into the socket of a missing tooth to anchor a replacement.
Implants are made from titanium, which fuses with jaw bone to form an artificial tooth root as the implant is locked in place.
When a Root Canal May Be Right for You
Root canal treatment can save a tooth that would otherwise be beyond repair through deep decay.
Tooth decay is caused by bacteria and plaque accumulating on a tooth, producing acid that eats into the enamel – the hard, protective outer layer of teeth.
This can then penetrate the dental pulp in the root canal – the most crucial part of a tooth, consisting of blood vessels, nerves and connective tissue.
In adult teeth, nerves in the root canal serve no purpose other than sensitivity to cold or heat, which allows for removal in root canal treatment.
Other instances when a root canal may be your best option include:
- A crack in your tooth that has extended into the pulp.
- You’ve had repeated dental work on the same tooth.
- A defective crown.
When a Dental Implant May Be Right for You
Dentists will always do everything possible to save a tooth but in some cases extraction may be the only option, and a dental implant is a popular form of tooth replacement.
Besides serious decay that can’t be fixed even by a root canal, gum disease is also a common cause of tooth loss.
Gum disease (periodontitis) occurs when plaque and bacteria build up on the gums, causing inflammation and infection.
Extraction and an implant replacement may be right for you if:
- You have a tooth that’s become too weak to repair because a large cavity has compromised too much of the tooth’s structure.
- Your tooth has a severe fracture extending below the gum line.
Making Your Decision
If you have significant tooth decay, a dentist experienced in advanced tooth restoration can help you decide for sure whether a root canal or an implant is right for you.
If root canal treatment is your best option, it will also save you money as well as preserve your natural tooth – a laser root canal costs around $950 while a dental implant will typically set you back about $3,000.
Need help deciding which option is best for you? Give us a call and our friendly staff will be happy to help you out!