Saving A Tooth: Is Root Canal or Dental Implant Better?

Root Canal Treatment vs. Dental Implant

If you have a severely damaged or infected tooth and you are still hoping to save it, have a serious discussion with your dentist about it. A couple of options may be offered: the first is a root canal, and the other is a dental extraction followed by an implant. Consider the benefits and the cost. Here’s how.

For a very damaged tooth, after choosing extraction, you might need an implant, or possibly a bridge or partial denture to fill that gap. However, if the damage isn’t that severe, it’s possible to save the tooth with a procedure like root canal. How to decide which is best? 

Many experts believe that it’s better to save the damaged tooth if possible. However, prolonging the life of a tooth may delay or remove the need for an implant later. If you can save a damaged tooth with a root canal, it may prolong the life of the tooth. It could even eliminate the need to put an implant later on. Studies have shown that between root canal and implants, nonsurgical endodontic treatment had very high success rates, in terms of the tooth’s functionality several years later. 

Let’s see the differences. Firstly, a root canal may be less expensive versus extraction and implant; in some cases, the latter may not be covered by insurance. Root canal procedure is less invasive compared to extraction. It is also quicker to complete compared to the implant process, which can take a good 12 months. Finally, the recovery period for root canal is much shorter. 

On the other hand, choosing root canal treatment also offers some risks. It may weaken the tooth; the affected tooth has already gone through inflammation and is already fragile. Being so weakened, the tooth may not survive, and you may end up getting an extraction anyway.

Are there benefits to choosing extraction-implant over root canal?

Yes, there is one possible scenario, though. If your tooth has sustained so much damage already, the best way to stop the deterioration is extraction and then replacing it with an implant and crown. There’s a study showing success with dental implants installed through impacted teeth or residual roots, rather than a complete extraction.


Offering Both Root Canal and Implant Dentistry in Lynnwood

If you are suffering from a badly damaged tooth and are still hoping to save it, come see us for a consultation at Song Dental in Lynnwood. We offer both services and are happy to help you decide.