Dental Implant vs Root Canal: Our Guide

Sometimes patients must make a choice between a dental implant vs root canal. We hope this guide makes the choice a little easier.

Both of these specialized procedures require skilled dental professionals. Your first step will be a visit to your dentist or an endodontist for a thorough examination.

The purpose of a root canal is to repair and ultimately save a natural tooth that has become infected. During the procedure, the pulp is removed, and the inside of the tooth is cleaned then sealed.

Wherever possible, we seek ways to help our patients keep their natural teeth. This results in maintaining a more natural bite. Dental implants are also a valid treatment option for many people. Tooth extraction is always a last resort, but an effectively placed dental implant offsets some of the disadvantages of an extraction.

Depending on your unique situation, the question of whether you prefer a dental implant vs root canal is one to discuss with your dentist. But first, let’s consider the pros of each.

Dental Implant vs Root Canal

Pros of a Root Canal

Although many people dread root canals, the truth is that for many people, this procedure helps maintain natural teeth, relieves pain, and restores dental health. We find that our patients leave the office happy with their decision to save their natural teeth.

The primary benefit of a root canal is saving your natural tooth, your natural bite, and your natural smile.

Despite the fact that many patients have preconceived ideas that root canals are painful, this reputation is out of date (especially in our office). The procedure is usually nearly painless. Most people find that after the recovery period, they notice the pain they previously suffered ends. In fact, many of our patients leave our office and go right back to work.

A root canal at Ballantyne Endodontics normally only requires one visit for the procedure and another to fit a protective crown with your dentist afterward. Some specialists use newer techniques for cleaning the infected pulp and even same-day crowns. Talk with your dentist or endodontist to learn the specifics of the treatment offered and whether it is appropriate for your specific needs.

Signs That You Might Need a Root Canal:

  • Intense or serious pain, especially when chewing or biting.
  • Increased sensitivity in the tooth to cold or hot temperatures.
  • Darkened or discolored tooth.
  • Tender or swollen gums around the tooth.

If you have these symptoms, be sure to contact your dentist right away. They may be signs that you need a root canal or other treatment. However, they may also be signs of other serious dental issues. The only way to know for sure is to seek professional care. Early diagnosis leads to earlier and often a more effective treatment.

Pros of a Dental Implant

While your endodontist will do everything they can, not every tooth can be saved. If you need a tooth extraction, then you may also want a dental implant after.

One advantage of a well-crafted implant is they still look very similar to a natural tooth. People feel more comfortable and confident without the gap, and the other teeth don’t shift position. An implant helps maintain most of a natural bite and smile.

An implant is long-lasting if properly cared for, similar to your root canal and dental crown. 

Some patients are a little quick to request extraction and implant. They have heard that the quality and appearance of implants have greatly improved. While this is true, maintaining natural teeth is usually ideal for a variety of reasons.

Choosing What Is Best For You

When making your decision, talk with your dentist about your needs. They will help you decide which procedure is most appropriate for your needs, budget, and oral health

An implant typically requires a multi-step process and a longer healing and recovery time afterward. In situations where the tooth cannot be saved, an implant is the closest substitute to the look and feel of natural teeth. But it should be a last resort rather than the first choice.

If you and your dentist decide a root canal may be a good option, consider seeking a referral to an endodontist who specializes in treatments like these. Not only do you have the best chance of success, but the second professional opinion might also open your eyes to any other options.

Today’s root canal is a little different than your grandparent’s root canal. Some practices use state of the art methods to clean inside the tooth that is even less invasive. Be sure and discuss the procedure and what you can expect as a patient. Also, be sure to discuss what to expect during the recovery period. Most people recover quickly from a root canal, assuming there are not any complications. During the first few days after the procedure, you will want to treat your mouth very gently.

Ask your endodontist or dentist for advice on how to best ensure a smooth recovery. Follow any special instructions for at-home care during your recovery and beyond. Improved dental care habits may prevent the need for root canals or extractions in your other teeth.

To Get Started, Contact a Specialist

We hope this information helps you feel better prepared for the decision between a dental implant vs root canal. The choice may be difficult, but with a little information and the advice of a trusted specialist, it may be easier. Either procedure has the potential of relieving pain and improving your wellbeing.

We at Ballantyne Endodontics have helped many Charlotte-residents enjoy keeping their natural teeth without the chronic pain and inflammation associated with an infected tooth. Feel free to schedule a consultation if you are considering endodontic care.

Don’t hesitate to contact us today or ask your dentist for a referral to Ballantyne Endodontics.