Save a Tooth with a Root Canal or Replace it with an Implant?
If you have a severely damaged tooth, especially one that is in the back of your smile and not highly visible, why not just pull the tooth and leave it? However, leaving empty spaces where a tooth has been will cause your other teeth to move and can lead to a degeneration of bone volume.
To help patients decide between dental restorations or tooth replacement with prosthetics, EZ Dental has created the following guide:
A root canal is performed to repair a badly damaged tooth with an internal infection, but with a healthy exterior structure. Depending on where the tooth is located, a crown may be suggested to restore function and aesthetics. When a tooth can be saved, it’s usually a good idea to do so. Keeping your natural tooth roots in place is best for jaw bone health and supports the stability of surrounding teeth.
Extraction can be considered when a tooth is too infected or damaged to save with root canal therapy, or multiple root canals have been unsuccessful at improving the strength and vitality of a tooth.
When an extraction is required, a dental implant is the only prosthetic that will provide both a replacement for the visible tooth above the gum line (called the crown) and tooth structure below (the roots).
Choosing to replace a tooth is often costlier than preserving it with a root canal, making endodontic procedures a popular first choice in preserving your health. Patients who choose to skip the root canal and go straight to extraction and replacement should understand that prosthetics other than implants will not preserve both health and protect surrounding teeth in the same manner.
Which is a Better Choice for You?
A review published in a 2007 supplement to the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants found no significant differences when comparing the survival of teeth that had been restored with root canal therapy and a crown or replaced by a single tooth implant.
The authors conclude that the priority should be to preserve the natural tooth. However, your needs and preferences are important to consider as well. If you are averse to the idea of a root canal and would prefer to choose implantation, you can feel confident knowing that this procedure will provide the same health benefits as keeping your natural tooth.
When evaluating which procedure is right for you, consider cost, time, and total outcomes.
Ask EZ Dental about root canal services and replacing failing teeth with dental implants! Our office provides both endodontics and skilled teeth replacement. We encourage you to call our office with any questions you may have about your treatment plan.