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Root Canal Or Implant?

A new debate has arisen with the increased longevity of implants.

Are patients better off trying to save their natural teeth through root canal treatment and a crown restoration or take the tooth out and replace it with an implant?

What to know about Root Canal

Root canal treatment is indicated when the nerve tissue in a tooth has become infected or has died. This can occur when the nerve becomes irreversibly inflamed from – decay, presence of large fillings, post dental treatment or if the tooth has been subjected to trauma. In these circumstances treatment is to remove the infected, dying or dead nerve tissue from within the root canal (s) of the tooth through special instrumentation and irrigation. The root canal(s) are then filled and the tooth is recommended to be restored with a full crown restoration for strength. Studies have shown success for this procedure the first time it’s done on a tooth to be around 90% success decreases by 30% each subsequent time a root canal treatment is performed on the same tooth or ‘retreatment’ success rate is around 60%.

Extraction and Implantation

If a tooth is deemed ‘un-restorable’ due to extensive decay, insufficient sound tooth present for restoration or as a result of trauma, it should be removed or ‘extracted’.

Following the removal of a tooth, a three month period is required for soft tissue and bone healing prior to an implant being placed in the position of the extracted tooth. After implant placement a further three month period is required for the bone to accept or ‘integrate’ with the implant.

Finally, six months after extraction, a tooth or ‘crown’ can be placed on the implant ready to use! Studies are now showing 30 year follow-ups on implant successes.

Pros and Cons to Consider

It would be good to consult with your dental practitioner and discuss your options available in a balanced way, taking the time to think about your options. Every person is an individual and deciding which treatment to choose may be simple or complicated depending on circumstance.

Seek Specialist Dentist Advice

It is always wise to establish a trusting relationship with your dentist and seek professional advice to ensure you are making an informed decision that you will be happy with in the long term.