Dental implant surgery and root canal therapy are two very different dental procedures, but both are done to restore tooth function and enhance your smile. Some people opt for a root canal instead of implants because of affordability and other reasons. Learning the difference between dental implant vs root canal and weighing the pros and cons will help you make a more informed decision about your smile.
Dental Implant vs Root Canal
A dental implant is a metal artificial tooth root that is surgically embedded into your jawbone or gum. The durable metal post functions as a base for a new, custom-made enamel crown. A root canal is a minimally-invasive procedure done to get rid of the infected tooth pulp and save the natural tooth. A custom-made cap or crown is placed over the treated tooth to protect it from reinfection.
6 Things to Consider Before Getting a Root Canal or Dental Implants
Here are some important pros and cons of dental implant vs root canal to consider before seeing your oral surgeon.
#1. Natural vs fake tooth
A root canal may seem like a better option if you don't like the idea of wearing a false tooth. However, implants are the closest and most natural-looking replicas to your natural teeth. The replacement crown can also withstand years of pressure from chewing and grinding foods.
#2. Tooth function
Implants feel and function like your natural teeth and can be cared for in the same way. You'll be able to bite and chew foods and speak like normal. While the treated tooth becomes weaker after a root canal, an implant promotes jawbone growth for stronger teeth.
A root canal does not eliminate the chance of cavities, root canal failure, or tooth loss. As such, you may still need tooth replacement in the future. Implant posts are made of metal, are decay-proof, and the treatment can last more than 10 years with proper oral care. Practicing good oral hygiene and habits will also protect against gum infection around the implant or implant failure.
#4. Cost and insurance coverage
Root canal therapy is generally covered by insurance since it is considered a medically necessary procedure for saving your tooth. A single implant can cost thousands of dollars. Insurance providers consider it a cosmetic treatment and do not usually cover the cost.
#5. Treatment timeline
The process for implants takes several months to complete and multiple visits to your oral surgeon. It also requires a highly-invasive surgery and plenty of patience. A root canal is far less invasive and can be completed in 1 to 2 dental appointments—unless you need treatment for gum disease or a dental abscess.
#6. Tooth viability
Many patients consider a single-tooth dental implant if their tooth cannot be saved. Dentures and bridges are other options. Thanks to advances in technology, it's now possible to get implant-supported dentures or implant-supported bridges. All-On-4 dental implants are another option for replacing a row of missing teeth.
Request a Consultation Today
We have a highly-qualified and experienced oral surgeon who can help you decide on the most suitable tooth restoration option. Our office is equipped with cutting-edge technology for diagnosing and performing root canal therapy and implant surgery. With our flexible payment plans, you can get that healthy, confident smile you desire. Call us to schedule an appointment.