If You Had to Choose Right Now…
Which Option Would You Choose?
And “Neither” is NOT a Choice!
So. You have an infected tooth. Your dentist gives you two treatment options: a root canal or a dental implant. Which do you choose? Chances are, you’re not exactly thrilled with either choice. Not sure how to choose which option is best to treat the compromised tooth? Here’s a quick rundown.
Hearing the words “root canal” might as well be the kiss of death, and there are many myths and misconceptions surrounding root canal (endodontic) treatment. Root canal procedures get a bad rap because decades ago, they were painful. But truth be told? In today’s day and age, with modern technology and anesthetics, root canals are no more uncomfortable than a routine filling. Local anesthetics have been improved and the instruments used to clean the inside of the tooth are very small. Most root canals can be completed in one visit and are nearly painless procedures. During a root canal, the source of the tooth pain, inflamed pulp, is removed. Once the inflamed pulp is removed, the tooth is then cleaned, filled, and sealed.
Just like root canals, dental implants have come a long way since their breakthrough in the 1960s, when researches explored the use of titanium. Researchers discovered that bone would grow directly into the surface of a titanium implant and create a bond so firm that the implant could not be dislodged. Implants are long-term solution that act just like your natural teeth. They may even do your natural teeth one better, since they can’t develop cavities. Unlike fixed bridges or removable dentures, dental implants will not affect neighboring healthy teeth or lead to bone loss in the jaw. If properly cared for, dental implants can last a lifetime. If your tooth is severally damaged, an implant might be the best choice.
In the end, no one procedure is better than the other. In fact, dental implants and root canals yield virtually equal success rates. The decision should be based on the complexity of your case, as well as your preference. Make sure to weigh all options with your dentist. No matter what procedure you choose, both options are sure to make your smile last a lifetime.