If you’re comparing dental implants with a root canal, you should know that it’s not exactly a direct comparison—what you’re really comparing is a root canal with a dental extraction, then a dental implant to replace your tooth. As an oral surgery practice, we only provide the extraction and implant part of the equation, not root canals. That said, we strongly recommend choosing a root canal in this situation if at all possible. Here’s why.
Root Canals Save Your Natural Teeth
When you have deep decay or a tooth that has been badly injured by dental trauma, your options are to have the tooth extracted or to have a root canal. A root canal allows you to keep your natural tooth, which is always the preferred outcome for your oral health.
Many patients are swayed by root canals having a reputation for being painful, but this isn’t a good reason to choose an extraction—today, root canals are no more painful than getting a cavity filled. Don’t let fear of pain factor into your decision.
Dental Implants Are More Complicated
To get a dental implant, you’ll first need to have your decayed or injured tooth extracted. Depending on your case, a dental implant can be placed at the same time as the extraction, or we may need to wait until you have healed from the extraction first. Then, you’ll need to have a custom crown made to replace the visible portion of your missing tooth.
A root canal can take one to two visits to your dentist or endodontist, but once it’s complete, you’re done—your treated tooth can last a lifetime.
Cases When Dental Implants Are Best
Of course, there are some circumstances in which you may be better off opting for a tooth extraction followed by a dental implant:
- You’ve already had a root canal and your tooth becomes re-infected or requires additional treatment. In this case, it may be more cost-effective to have your tooth extracted and replaced with a dental implant.
- Your tooth is compromised due to gum disease or other dental issues in addition to needing a root canal.
- Your tooth has had a series of failed treatments in the past or is likely to need more procedures in the future.
- Your tooth’s prognosis with a root canal is not clear.
If you’re still unsure whether a root canal or a dental implant is the best choice for you, we’re happy to consult with your endodontist or general dentist on your case. We want you to make the best decision for your overall oral health, whether that’s an extraction and dental implant with us or a root canal with a doctor who specializes in endodontics.