Dental Implant vs. Root Canal - Which is Better?

Dental Implant vs. Root Canal - Which is Better?

Feb 01, 2023

When your tooth is severely damaged or decayed, you might wonder what the best solution is for your condition. Should you get a root canal or extract the tooth and then replace it with a dental implant?

Generally, both treatments are safe and effective, and each has pros and cons. Keep reading to learn more about root canals and dental implants to decide which treatment is right for you.

Root Canals, Tooth Extractions & Dental Implants

All these treatments address your dental imperfections. However, they do that in different ways.

Root Canal Treatment

A root canal treatment or therapy is an endodontic procedure removing an infected or decayed tooth’s pulp. It is important to stop the infection and save the tooth.

The dentist will begin by numbing the area around the tooth with a local anesthetic injection. Next, they use a drill to open the tooth to access the pulp.

Then, the dentist removes the infected, inflamed, and decayed tissues from the tooth using small dental files. The tooth is then cleaned, rinsed, and disinfected to prevent re-infection.

Since removing the pulp leaves empty spaces, the dentist uses a biocompatible gutta-percha material to fill the space. Then, the opening is sealed with a temporary filling.

After about two weeks, they remove the temporary filling. A permanent filling or crown is placed over the tooth to strengthen and protect it from infections and fractures. Contact our dentist for root canal treatment in Stony Brook, NY.

Tooth Extraction

Removing the tooth may be the only option if a tooth is extremely damaged or diseased and can’t be saved with restorative treatments. Based on the nature of the tooth, you can either have a simple or surgical procedure.

A simple extraction is performed if the tooth is visible and accessible above the gum line. The dentist uses a pair of forceps to remove the tooth. In a surgical extraction, the dentist cuts through the gums and sometimes bone to access the tooth. They may break the tooth into pieces for easier removal.

Dental Implants

You can get an immediate dental implant after a tooth extraction if you have healthy gums and jawbone. In most cases, you must wait a few weeks for the gums and bone to heal to get the implant.

During the implant surgery, the dentist will begin by numbing the area to prevent pain throughout the procedure. Then, they drill through the jawbone and place an implant post that resembles a screw. The jawbone heals around the implant in the process of osseointegration which takes about 3 – 6 months.

After healing, the dentist will place a restoration crown over the implant to give it the appearance of a natural tooth. The implant should now feel, function, and look like your natural teeth. Visit our dental office for dental implants in Stony Brook, NY.

What is the Best Option? Factors to Consider

  • Saving Your Natural Tooth

There are no restorations that can match your natural tooth. Therefore, a dentist will always strive to save your natural tooth. A root canal procedure can save your tooth and eliminate the need for tooth extractions and dental implants.

  • Condition of the Tooth

If your tooth has damage beyond repair, an extraction followed by a dental implant may be your best option. However, a root canal procedure is suitable if there’s a chance to repair the damage and save the tooth.

  • Cost

When considering the cost, a root canal treatment is significantly cheaper than extracting a tooth and replacing it with an implant. A root canal may be covered by insurance, while an implant may not. A root canal can cost anywhere from $250 – $1,600, while the average price for an implant is $4,000.

  • The Complexity of the Procedure and Recovery

Generally, a root canal is less invasive than surgical extraction and dental implant surgery. It’s also easy and quick to recover from a root canal compared to tooth extraction and implant surgery.

  • Length of Treatment

Getting a complete root canal requires around two dental appointments. On the other hand, extracting a tooth and getting a dental implant requires several appointments and can take 6 – 12 months or more.

Final Verdict

Generally, a root canal procedure is a suitable option if there’s still a chance of saving your tooth. However, tooth extraction and dental implants might be the best option if your tooth is beyond saving.

You can discuss both procedures’ benefits and cons, goals, and preferences with our dentist and get their recommendations. For more information about root canals, dental implants, and other restorative treatments, contact Stony Brook Dental Group.

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