Why Get a Root Canal if You Can Get an Implant?

With the advent of the implant are root canals a thing of the past? What are Endodontists saying about this??

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Endodontic treatment vs dental implant

Root canal therapy still exists and is a predictable treatment for the teeth with good bone support, enough of remaining tooth structure and when saving the tooth is important for occlusion. If the situation with the tooth is compromised, it is severely decayed, has periapical changes and periodontal disease - dental implant becomes more predictable option. Usually before considering the endodontic treatment and invseting the money in it the patient should ask his dentist about all possible risks and benefits, get the information about the overall tooth prognosis. Opened and clear communication between the patient and the doctor is essential in choosing right type of treatment.

Miami Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 30 reviews

Implants vs Root Canal

Your question is a good one.  It all comes down to predictablility.  In the past, dentists did everything they could to save a tooth but with the advent of dental implants that has changed.  No dentist likes to extract a tooth unecessarily.  If a tooth is in need of a root canal and has good bone support and adequate tooth structure remaining to restore the tooth then I feel that root canal therapy is appropriate.  However, if the tooth is compromised, has a failing root canal or requires a heroic effort to restore, then consideration must be given to the implant since its success rate, in that case, is more predictable.  Be sure to discuss all of your options with your dentist before making any decisions.

Gary Nack, DDS
Philadelphia Cosmetic Dentist

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Dental Implant or Root Canal?

As dentist we always try to be as conservative as possible when performing treatment.  A root canal is the most conservative treatment the majority of the time.  Root canals have well over a 90 percent success rate and are many times a wise choice of treatment.  In cases where a tooth would require a post and core or the retreatment of a past root canal, it is my opinion that a dental implant would give a better long term prognosis.  There is a place and time for both of these procedures and a well trained dentist will always discuss the pros and cons with you of your particular situation. 

Scott Young, DDS
Houston Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 12 reviews

Great question!

Believe it or not there are more and more Endodontists ( root canal specialists) who are placing dental implants.  Why?  Because they can be very good judges of when a tooth is not worth saving and are a very trusted colleagues of the many dentists who are not comfortable with dental implants.

I am a general dentist who has been placing and restoring dental implants for nearly 30 years.  I also do many root canals on a daily basis but sometimes a judgment call based on experience needs to be made as to the long term prognosis for a tooth.  If the tooth is either too broken down, periodontally involved or the root canal faces being retreated, a dental implant may be the better choice.

Joseph W. Worthington, DDS
Fairfield Cosmetic Dentist

If you can save a stable tooth, do it!

Even though implants are an extremely successful treatment option I would recommend you try and save your tooth with a root canal assuming that the dentist thinks that the prognosis of the tooth is favorable.  Maintaining what you have is the more conservative approach.

Dan Haas, DDS
Toronto Cosmetic Dentist

A good tooth is still the best.

Let me start by saying that I am a fan of both root canal treatment to save teeth and implant treatment to replace missing or hopeless teeth.  Some teeth cannot be saved.  They may have a root fracture, or decay that makes them unrestorable, or maybe they are periodontally involved to the point that there is not enough bone to hold the roots in place.

If however there is enough good healthy tooth structure remaining I feel that nothing is as good as a good tooth.  Teeth are anchored in the jaw bone by roots which are attached by a ligament.  This periodontal ligament acts as a shock absorber of sorts for  your teeth.  It also contains nerves which feedback information when you are chewing so you will know if you are chewing too hard or not hard enough, ... this is called proprioception. 

Implants are fused to the bone in a process called osseointegration.  There are no nerve endings or ligament around an implant to give you that information. 

This is the main reason that I like teeth and recommend root canal treatment over implants whenever it is possible.   

Martin Frankel, DDS
Toronto Cosmetic Dentist
3.0 out of 5 stars 2 reviews

Your own tooth is worth saving

As a general dentist who both performs root canals and places dental implants I have a unique perspective.  I always try to save teeth.  I think there’s nothing better than having your own teeth.   A root canal is a fairly routine and painless procedure.  The dental crown can be placed several weeks after your root canal and the work can last for many years.

Implants are terrific but they do require a bit more work.   You may have to wait ~4 months for the bone to heal after taking a tooth out, and then another 4 months before a crown can be placed on the implant.  Although dental implants are painless, they do require a minor surgery of first taking the tooth out and then placing a dental implant into bone.   I advise my patients to avoid any surgery unless it’s absolutely necessary. 

Although dental implants are highly successful , studies show ~96% of the time,  sometimes they do fail.   In which case they need to be replaced, which uses up more of your time and possibly incurs more expense.

Of course there comes a point where it’s no longer worthwhile to save a tooth, in which case dental implants are a terrific option.   I always give my patients all the options.  But I advise them to do what’s easiest, least expensive, and most predictable.  Good Luck!

Peter Mann, DDS
Manhattan Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 4 reviews

Root canal vs. Extraction and Dental implant

As a periodontist, I like to save teeth any chance I get. We can never replicate your tooth exactly with an implant. We can come close. But it will never be exactly the same. Although dental implants are a great treatment option and have chanted millions of people's lives forever, keeping your own teeth should be of paramount importance. If the tooth in question is not periodontally compromised, and there is enough tooth structure on top of which a crown or a cap can be cemented, then the tooth should be treated with root canal therapy. Then a crown MUST be placed on the tooth or it will fracture and then you will likely need it extracted. The more teeth you have lost, the more paramount it is to keep whatever teeth you can keep. Why? Because your teeth send signals to the brain (proprioception) telling the brain where the jaw is in space and give the relative position between upper and lower jaws in space. This is important for chewing properly and not biting your cheek and tongue constantly. So is it important to save your teeth if possible? You bet! 

Herbert Veisman, DDS
Toronto Periodontist

Why get a root canal when implants exist

My feeling is to always do the most conservative treatment possible after weighing all the pros and cons.  If the prognosis of a tooth after doing a root canal is poor then a dental implant may be the better alternative before attempting the root canal procedure.  I see many times root canals performed on teeth that should have been extracted because the prognosis of a  crown and post is guarded..  I personally would never extract a tooth without trying a root canal first unless the very little tooth structure remains. 

David S. Frey, DDS
Beverly Hills Cosmetic Dentist
5.0 out of 5 stars 1 review

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