If you visit your dentist because of persistent tooth pain, inflammation, or sensitivity to hot or cold foods, they may recommend that you undergo root canal therapy or have a dental implant put in. Both of these treatments correct the tooth infection and restore function to your mouth; however, they are very different procedures.
When deciding between a dental implant vs root canal, it is crucial to understand the process of root canal therapy and dental implant treatments, what their benefits are, and how the team at Dentistry on Solent can help you make the right choice for your mouth.
What is a Root Canal?
Root canal therapy is a procedure that cleans the inside of an infected tooth to restore it to full health and function. Root canal therapy, also called endodontic treatment, involves drilling into the infected tooth and removing the pulp inside. Pulp is made up of tissue fibres and nerve endings, and when it becomes infected, it causes painful inflammation, sensitivity to hot and cold foods, and painful chewing.
During a root canal, your dentist removes the pulp inside the tooth. They then clean the canals and fill them with a sterile plug material that prevents bacteria from entering. Your original tooth is salvageable in many cases and will be covered in a sealant to prevent further damage. However, if the tooth is severely decayed or cracked, a crown is used to cap your natural tooth. Most root canals are successful, and if good dental hygiene is maintained, the tooth should be problem-free for many years.
What is a Dental Implant?
A dental implant is much different from a root canal, but it serves a similar purpose. Dental implants are screw-like fixtures made of titanium that are inserted into your jawbone. Attached to these dental implants via an abutment are crowns that work exactly like natural teeth. Dental implants are inserted where you have already lost teeth or where your dentist determines a tooth extraction is needed. During your dental implant procedure, you will see your dentist several times. Your first visit will entail X-rays and an overview of your readiness for dental implants, followed by an appointment for insertion of the dental implants, a follow-up to check on the osseointegration or growth of your jaw bone over the dental implant, abutment placement, and finally the installation of the artificial tooth. The entire process may take several months. However, the result is that you have dental implants which act just like natural teeth and last for years.
Pros and Cons of Dental Implant vs Root Canal
If both a root canal and dental implants treat an infected tooth, how do you know which is better for you? When choosing between a dental implant vs root canal, it is helpful to compare the benefits and possible downsides to each.
Pros of Dental Implants
- Look like natural teeth
- They function just like natural teeth
- Last a long time, up to 15 years or more
- Prevent bone resorption by stimulating the jaw bone
- New technology is continually making the process quicker and easier
Cons of Dental Implants
- Can be costly
- The process can be lengthy
- Traditionally requires several visits to the dentist
Pros of Root Canals
- Can keep the original tooth in some cases
- Typically costs less than dental implants
- Typically requires 1 to 3 dental visits
Cons of Root Canals
- Tooth may be damaged during the procedure, necessitating a tooth extraction or dental implant
- It can still be costly
- Often unforeseen complications come up, leading to more cost and time
Pros and Cons of Dental Implant vs Root Canal
Making the best choice for your oral health involves several considerations. For many people, dental implants offer a better long-term solution to their dental woes. Despite the potentially high cost, dental implants offer you an artificial tooth replacement that is low maintenance and lasts for decades. Many dentists offer payment plans for dental implant treatment to make this preferable option more affordable. New technologies make getting a dental implant quicker and less invasive than ever before.
At Dentistry on Solent, we use the DIO system for dental implants. This technology performs computer-guided surgery that inserts the implant quickly and without cutting open the gum. This means there is less surgical time, less bleeding, and less post-surgical trauma. If you are receiving a full mouth of dental implants, you may be able to receive over-dentures the same day with all-on-4 technology.
Choosing between a dental implant or a root canal is a significant choice. It is a smart idea to visit your dentist to discuss the treatment options. They can look at your dental history, take X-rays, and ask specific questions that can help you pinpoint which treatment is right for you.
Make Your Appointment Today
Make an appointment to talk with your dentist about dental implant vs root canal procedures. The team at Dentistry on Solent is happy to answer your questions and set you up with a qualified dentist who can walk you through the right option for your smile and budget. We offer both traditional dental implants and DIO installed implants, so you are sure to find a procedure that meets your needs.
Contact us today at (02) 9158 6137 to book your appointment.
Note: Any surgical or invasive procedure carries risks. Before proceeding, you should seek a second opinion from an appropriately qualified health practitioner.