Once your dentist informs you that your tooth is damaged all the way down to the root, you’re likely fearful of what the next steps will be to restore your dental health. Ultimately, your dentist will decide which treatment would be best to treat your damaged tooth: a root canal or tooth extraction replaced with a dental implant. While it is saving your natural tooth is usually the first choice, it is not always possible or the best option for those with severe tooth decay or damage.
To understand why you might need a root canal instead of a dental implant, it helps to learn what the goal of each treatment is. With standard root canal treatment, the infected pulp tissue inside the tooth is removed with files, and the tooth is prepped with permanent filler placed into the canals, which used to contain the pulp. This is to prevent future infection. Once the procedure is done, you’ll receive a temporary crown to seal the opening until a permanent porcelain crown is made in a dental laboratory.
By contrast, a dental implant is recommended for severely damaged teeth that cannot be restored via a root canal. First, the damaged tooth is extracted, and a synthetic bone graft is placed in the hole where the tooth root used to be. The tooth root is eventually replaced surgically with a titanium dental implant that looks like a metal screw, which is gradually embedded into the existing bone until it fuses with the bone. Next, a crown is placed on the implant via an abutment.
How Does a Dentist Which Treatment I Need?
Some of the deciding factors your dentist will consider include:
- Is the infection in the surrounding bone?
- What is the condition of the remaining tooth structure?
- How strong is the supporting bone?
- Does the patient have gum disease?
- What is the likely success rate of the 2 procedures?
What Happens if I Insist on a Root Canal Rather than a Dental Implant?
Some may want to opt for a root canal regardless of their dentist’s advice, but this is taking the risk of needing further, more extensive and expensive treatment in the future. That’s because there’s a chance of root canal treatment failure, and it may need to be redone within 5 to 10 years. That means you may need to have your remainder of the natural tooth extracted anyway, and then replaced with a dental implant.
What Are the Advantages of a Dental Implant Instead of a Root Canal?
Dental implants are one of the best modern advances in the dental field, mainly because they have an extremely high success rate and very low risk of infection (less than 1%!). If endodontics (root canal therapy) cannot save your tooth and you must have it extracted and replaced with a dental implant, you can rest assured you will get the results you want so you can chew properly and keep your teeth from shifting. At Radiance Dentistry, Dental Implant Center, we will carefully review your options with you regarding dental implants and why they would be the best option for your teeth.
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