Dental Implant Vs Root Canal: Which Option Is Good?

Do you have a tooth that is infected, dead, non-vital, or has an abscess? If so, your dentist may advise getting a root canal or a dental implant to solve the issue. Root canals and dental implants are two alternative treatments for the same dental problem. They have the same success rates.

You have two treatment choices for the same problematic teeth in your mouth. But how can you determine which option is better for you? First, let’s study each dental treatment method in detail.

What Is A Root Canal?

A root canal is a dental procedure that involves removing infected or damaged pulp from the inside of a tooth. The tooth is cleaned, disinfected, and sealed to prevent further infection. It’s aimed at saving a tooth and relieving pain. This procedure aims to restore the tooth. The therapy effectively eliminates bacteria from infected tooth roots, prevents reinfection, and ultimately saves the decaying tooth.

What Is A Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a replacement for a missing tooth. It consists of a titanium post inserted into the jawbone, topped with a crown. Implants mimic natural teeth in appearance and function. Dental implants remove severely decayed and damaged teeth from your mouth. First, an artificial tooth root called an implant is placed in the jawbone to replace the decayed tooth. Then the artificial tooth root is allowed to get fused with the jawbone. So, we can say that a dental implant is a medical device implemented in the jawbone to restore a tooth’s appearance and functionality.

Root Canal Procedure Vs Dental Implant Procedure

Root Canal: Involves removing infected pulp, cleaning, and sealing the tooth. It preserves the natural tooth structure.
Dental Implant: Requires implanting a titanium post in the jaw, followed by placing a crown. It replaces a missing tooth and integrates with the bone.

Root Canal: Advantages and Disadvantages

The following are some advantages of root canal treatment:

  • It Preserves Natural Tooth

Since you don’t lose your natural tooth with a root canal, as opposed to a dental implant, you may expect to keep your genuine grin. However, to address the decay, you may require a crown. It allows your dentist to attach the crown to the original tooth structure.

  • It’s A Quicker Process

A dental implant takes longer to complete than a root canal. You usually require one or two appointments to finish the process. Additionally, if a permanent crown is needed, you will have to wait a short time to receive it.

  • Cost-Effective Option

Another significant advantage is that a root canal may cost between $300 and $2,500, as opposed to dental implants, which may cost between $3,000 and $4,500. However, insurance policies frequently cover crowns and root canals, but it might be challenging to get coverage for implants.

  • Painless Treatment Process

The root canal procedure is painless, with a quick recovery. You won’t have to worry about experiencing pain because the dentist doesn’t pull out your tooth during the treatment. In addition, you will not have to wait for your gums to recover from an extraction anymore.

Additional drawbacks of having a root canal may include:

  • You can’t choose a root canal if your tooth is severely decayed 

Your Gisborne dentist cannot save a tooth with a root canal if it has severe decay or damage. Additionally, there’s a chance that the operation will fail to preserve the tooth you want.

  • Process challenges may cause tooth loss.

You can experience problems after undergoing the treatment process. For instance, if the entire infected pulp is not correctly removed, it may result in an abscess. The abscess may cause tooth extraction.

  • It may be costlier without insurance.

Though cheaper than implants, root canals can be more expensive if you don’t have a quality insurance plan. So, you can check with your insurance company before choosing root canal treatment.

Dental Implants: Advantages and Disadvantages

Some factors that may impact the decision to select a dental implant over a root canal include:

  • Aesthetic Appeal

Even if you lose your original tooth, a dental implant process can still give you excellent looks. It is because your dentist can create a tooth that complements your features and matches the colour of your natural teeth.

  • Increased Functionality

You may have high levels of functionality from a dental implant similar to the function of your natural teeth. For instance, you will have no difficulty speaking and eating. However, properly placed dental implants may be more functional than your natural teeth.

  • It Is Durable

An implant is the best option if durability is the primary concern because it can last longer than a root canal or crown. In addition, implants rarely fail.

The following drawbacks should be taken into account when choosing a dental implant:

  • Implants May Not Be Covered by Your Insurance

Implants are frequently not covered by dental insurance. Therefore, the cost of one tooth may be in the range of $3,000 and $4,500. For some, it may be unaffordable.

  • Requires a Prolonged and Invasive Treatment Process

An intensive and invasive procedure is needed for a dental implant. Your dentist will first extract the natural tooth and let the gums heal on their own. Your jawbone will then need to be prepared for the procedure, the implants will need to be fixed, prosthetic teeth will need to be installed, and recovery will need to be monitored.

  • Extended Recovery Time

You will have to wait for your mouth to recover between treatment phases.

Benefits of a Root Canal

  • Pain Relief: Eases severe tooth pain by removing infected tissue.
  • Preserves Natural Tooth: Avoids extraction and related issues.
  • Functional Tooth: Restores biting, chewing, and speaking abilities.
  • Aesthetic: Maintains natural tooth appearance.
  • Cost-Effective: Long-term savings compared to extraction.
  • Complication Prevention: Averts serious health problems.
  • Quick Procedure: Usually completed in one or two visits.
  • Lasting Results: Proper care ensures a lifelong solution.
  • Bone Preservation: Keeps jawbone healthy by retaining the tooth.
Root canals offer pain relief, preserve your tooth, and promote oral health, function, and aesthetics for the long term.

Benefits of Dental Implants

  • Natural Look: Implants blend seamlessly with your smile.
  • Functionality: They enable comfortable eating, speaking, and chewing.
  • Long-Lasting: With proper care, they can last a lifetime.
  • Easy Care: Maintenance is similar to natural teeth.
  • Stability: They’re secure and don’t shift like dentures.
  • No Restrictions: No dietary limitations.
  • Immediate: Some cases allow same-day results.
Dental implants provide a natural, lasting solution, restoring function, appearance, and confidence while promoting oral health.

Root canal vs. Dental Implants: How to Choose?

Are you unsure which choice is best for you? The best person who tells you the answer is your dentist. He will examine your dental requirements and assist you in choosing between the two. But, your decision will also be governed by your dental problem, preferences and financial situation.

If your tooth has significant decay and you are ready to pay more for treatment, you can select an implant. But a root canal can be less invasive and more cost-effective if you want to restore your tooth.

However, the professionals at Gisborne Dental Group are available to assist whether you decide to go with a root canal or implant. Call us on (03) 4050 9030 or drop an email at info@gisbornedental.com.au to reach us.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can a dental implant replace a root canal?

Yes, a dental implant can take the place of a root canal. If your root canal fails, your dentist can prescribe you remove the tooth and replace it with an implant. However, the replacement is based on various factors such as the likelihood of success, insurance coverage, affordability, oral health, general physical condition, etc.

Which procedure—a root canal or an implant—hurts more?

It is widely believed that receiving a root canal is painful. But this isn’t always the case. When oral anaesthesia was less reliable and often not even an option, it used to be a painful treatment at that time. But, modern dentistry has made the treatment procedure pain-free and comfortable with techniques like sedation dentistry.

Today, neither a dental implant nor a root canal operation results in severe pain or discomfort during treatment. However, in the case of a root canal, you can feel slight pain once the effect of anaesthesia wears off. But it will disappear in a day or two.

Contrarily, dental implant surgery may be a little less painful. But here also, you can feel pain and discomfort if you recently got your extraction done and placed an implant.

A dental implant or a root canal – which surgery takes the longest?

Both processes often take the same amount of time. However, the length of time needed for root canal therapy and dental implant insertion varies depending on the circumstances.

For instance, it takes longer to clean and fill a tooth that has several roots. In addition, root canal therapy takes longer than a typical dental implant. However, it may add time to your treatment if your dentist performs an extraction while placing the implant.

Furthermore, it can take longer to extract a tooth if the root is complicated. But, during root canal therapy, your dentist may have to fill all of the teeth’s roots. Due to this, the implant procedure is usually quicker than a root canal.

When Is A Root Canal Necessary?

A root canal is necessary when a tooth’s pulp becomes infected, inflamed, or damaged due to decay, trauma, or deep cavities. It’s needed to save the tooth and prevent the spread of infection.

When Are Dental Implants Advised?

Dental implants are advised when a tooth is missing or needs extraction. They’re recommended for those seeking a permanent, functional, and aesthetically pleasing solution.

Will I Need A Dental Implant After My Root Canal?

After a successful root canal, a dental implant might not be necessary for that same tooth. However, if the tooth becomes weak or damaged over time, an implant might be considered as an option.

Is it better to save a tooth or get an implant?

Saving a Tooth (Root Canal):
  • Pros: Preserves natural tooth, faster procedure, lower upfront cost.
  • Cons: Success varies, potential future issues.
Getting a Dental Implant:
  • Pros: Permanent replacement, prevents future problems, natural look and function.
  • Cons: Surgical procedure, higher initial cost, longer process.
  • Factors: Tooth condition, overall oral health, patient preference, long-term outlook, time and healing.
Consult a dentist for personalised advice.

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