Choose The Tooth: Why A Root Canal Is Better Than An Implant

Are you experiencing moderate to severe pain in your mouth from a bad tooth? You may have an infection inside your tooth. The usual treatment for such a situation is a root canal, which is an extensive restoration procedure. You may wonder whether it might just be better to extract the tooth and get an implant. After all, isn't this tooth likely to give you problems in the future? Here's why root canals are usually preferred to implants.

The problem

Intervention becomes necessary when the inside of a tooth, called the pulp, becomes infected. This can happen for several reasons:

  • deep decay from an insufficiently filled--or never filled--cavity

  • previous dental procedures on the tooth, such as fillings and a crown

  • poorly fitted crowns

  • cracks or outright breaks in the tooth

If the pulp is not treated, abscess and pain result and the tooth may deteriorate to the point it has to be extracted.

The process

Despite jokes about how miserable root canals can be, the procedure is fairly simple and isn't painful. While you are under local anesthesia, the dentist drills into your tooth, removes the pulp, and fills the tooth with a substance impervious to decay. When this is complete, the dentist will put a crown on the tooth to further protect it from deterioration. This takes one or two visits. It is usually no more uncomfortable than getting a filling.

Why not get an implant instead?

To some people, the work involved to save an apparently failing tooth isn't worth it. Why not just extract the problem tooth and opt for an implant instead? Implants, after all, are highly successful. They require no upkeep and cannot decay. Here's why dentists recommend root canals instead of implants:

  1. Natural teeth are always better. The goal of dental treatment is to maintain your natural teeth if at all possible.

  2. Most teeth can be saved. After the extensive reconstruction of a root canal and crown, a natural tooth should be problem-free and useful for many years to come.

  3. Root canals work. Root canals have a 90% success rate.

  4. Root canals are more widely covered by insurance than implants. You'll likely pay less out of pocket for a root canal than for an implant. Save your money.

If you are having problems with an infected tooth, trust your dentist if he/she recommends a root canal. If your tooth can be saved through this procedure, it is far better to do so than to give it up and have an unnecessary implant for the rest of your life. Choose the tooth! To learn more, speak with someone like Rick Chavez DDS.