Making the Ideal Choice: Dental Implants or Root Canal

If you’re a patient of AOS with badly diseased or compromised teeth, then Dr. BuschDr. Otte, or Dr. Schroeder may have presented you with two treatment options: get root canals to “save” the teeth, or extract the teeth and replace them with dental implants. The decision to go with a root canal or dental implants is highly individual, both for you and for our doctors when they make their professional recommendation. While most of the time, our doctors want to do everything possible to keep a natural tooth in place, sometimes that just isn’t the recommended option, and getting dental implants is the ideal choice.

About Root Canals

A root canal is a procedure designed to save a tooth so that you remove its decay and associated pain, but you won’t have to extract and replace it. With a root canal, your endodontist will numb you, help you choose a sedation dentistry option and then drill down to the tooth pulp and remove it. He or she will then clean, fill and seal your tooth with a crown. The benefits of getting a root canal is that you keep your natural tooth in place, meaning that while the tooth no longer has any sensation or feeling, your tooth root continues to stimulate jaw bone growth.

About Dental Implants

AOS patients typically get tooth extractions and dental implants when they have teeth that are so diseased, that removing and replacing them is the recommended option. With dental implants, your diseased teeth are first extracted. After your gums have healed from the teeth extractions, a titanium rod is placed in your jaw bone to hold your realistic-looking tooth crown in place. The titanium rod acts as a natural tooth root, stimulating your jaw bone growth so that you don’t lose any bone tissue, and the tooth crown is strong enough so that you can eat your favorite foods without the risk of your implant falling out or slipping and sliding.

Criteria for Receiving Dental Implants

Simply desiring a dental implant alone doesn’t make you a candidate for this procedure. In order to get dental implants, you must have sufficient jaw bone tissue. If you don’t, a bone graft surgery may be necessary so that you can “grow” enough jaw bone tissue to hold the dental implants in place.

Which Solution is Right for You?

Whether or not to get root canals or dental implants is a very difficult decision that our doctors recommend on a case to case basis. Factors that our doctors consider include:

  • The age of the patient. Root canals are designed to last about 15 to 20 years. If you are a younger patient with a longer life expectancy, it may make more sense to skip the root canals and go straight to dental implants.
  • The degree of disease of the teeth in question. Some teeth are so diseased that even root canals can’t save them. In that case, extracting the teeth and getting dental implants may make more sense.
  • The aesthetics of the teeth in question. If you are unhappy with the look of your diseased teeth, if they are crooked or have gaps in between them, the crown that is placed on top of the tooth after the root canal can only provide so much aesthetic improvement. In these cases, dental implants may be warranted.

Call Us For Our Professional Opinion

If you have teeth you think need root canals or extractions and dental implants; we want to know so we can give you individualized advice.

To schedule an appointment at our office to start the process, call us at (309) 326-9207.