The focus on modern dentistry lies in maintaining the health of natural teeth. After all, they are supposed to last your entire lifetime.
Given the harsh environment they are in, keeping teeth healthy is quite a challenge. This is primarily because of the number of chemicals, microorganisms, and substances that pass through or build up in a person’s oral cavity.
Fortunately, advances in this branch of medicine have made it possible for people to retain their natural teeth for longer. Advancements in the field have even produced more than one possible solution to a single issue.
Take dental implants and root canals, for example. Both provide a way to deal with damaged teeth. In fact, these two procedures have proven their worth time and again, with similar success rates that are pegged at 98 to 99 percent.
But when resolving the issue of decayed and damaged teeth, you have to choose one or the other. It can’t be both. This is why many people become torn between the options.
Dentists often recommend root canal even if it could’ve been easier to have the natural tooth replaced. After all, if your tooth is so damaged to the extent that it requires root canal treatment, why not just have it pulled out and replaced with a dental implant instead?
It might be challenging to choose between two dental solutions, especially if both offer a way to solve the same issue and with similar chances of success. To help you sort things out, this article tackles the details of the procedures and how experts in root canals and dental implants in Fort Lauderdale decide on what to recommend to their patients.
Root Canal vs. Dental Implant: What’s the Difference?
When given a choice between dental implants and a root canal, people tend to get confused because they don’t understand the difference between the two.
Although they both manage to deal with the issue of damaged teeth, they have different ways of doing it. While implants entail replacing the teeth with artificial ones, root canals are designed to save the infected natural tooth.
In the past years, dentistry focused on salvaging natural teeth. This is the main reason why many dentists recommend root canals over implants, especially when there is a significant portion of the tooth left unharmed.
When the dentist recommends tooth extraction, it may be time that you seek out an endodontist’s help. This type of dentist specializes in endodontic treatment, more commonly known as a “root canal,” a procedure that entails the removal of the injured soft inner tissue – or the pulp – of the tooth.
The area is then filled up and sealed to prevent further infection. After the procedure, the specialist will proceed with tooth restoration by using a filling or a dental crown. This will strengthen the teeth and restore functionality without actually replacing the damaged natural tooth.
However, dental implants offer many advantages as well.
Aside from literally “rooting out” the problem tooth, implants are also made to look and feel exactly like your teeth. Plus, they eventually become permanent after getting fused to the bone. It also has the potential to restore the appearance of the tooth better, which is quite useful when the issue involves one or more of the front teeth.
3 Factors to Consider When Choosing Between Root Canal and Dental Implants
Procedure success rate
Proving which procedure is more effective is definitely a difficult task. After all, you cannot possibly know the outcome of one procedure after the other has already been performed.
A dental procedure’s success rate provides patients and dentists a way to determine the chances of favorable results. If considered independently, the rate of success in both procedures can be compared in general, at the very least.
Interestingly, root canal and dental implants have a very close success rate, with one study showing that the former has a 92 to 97 percent while the latter is gauged at 95 and 99 percent. It is worth noting, however, that these ranges were evaluated in two different timeframes – four to eight years for a root canal and two to 16 years for an implant.
Another major consideration when deciding on dental treatment is your expected outcome. Ask yourself whether you’re ready to have your natural tooth replaced or if it’s still important that you retain it.
Modern dentistry emphasizes the need to keep natural teeth intact. Because of this, many dentists are more likely to recommend a root canal to “save” the tooth, than a dental implant to replace it.
But the clincher lies in how well they can restore the appearance of teeth after endodontic therapy. When performed poorly, teeth restoration after a root canal might be subpar, in which case dental implants might be better.
However, dental implants might “feel” a bit different. Although it may not seem significant considering their similar success rates, some patients who choose to have dental implants report a significant difference between how the artificial replacement feels compared to their natural tooth.
Also, implants are designed to fuse to the jawbone. According to research, this can make future orthodontic movement impossible, which means that the use of braces will not be effective.
Aside from the expected outcome, you should also consider how easily you can maintain your teeth after a dental procedure has been performed. Since implants and endodontic treatments have nearly equal success rates, looking at the follow-up maintenance can help you make a decision.
Based on a new study comparing the two procedures published in the Journal of Endodontics, dental implants may require more maintenance following the procedure. It was revealed that further intervention is required in implants while root canals can be left as is.
Decide Based on Expert Opinion
Choosing between a dental implant and root canal is quite difficult, especially since they both solve the same issue. Whichever option you choose, be sure to consult your dentist and only have dental implants or root canal procedures in Fort Lauderdale under the experienced and skillful hands of licensed professionals.