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Dental Implants Vs. Root Canal Treatment

Cavities are one of the major causes of tooth damage. Bacteria can cause dentine and enamel to erode and expose sensitive nerves, causing a lot of pain. When the enamel and dentine are eroded, the decayed portion is drilled away and an inert material like an amalgam fills up the affected area. If the decay progresses deeper into the tooth pulp, then a root canal treatment will be deemed necessary. A root canal treatment involves removing the pulpal tissue from the root canals of the tooth and then inserting a filling in the empty canals to save the tooth from extraction.

Extraction is deemed necessary when the decay has progressed even further that it leaves minimal tooth structure. When this happens, a dental implant to replace the missing tooth is the best option to regain your smile.

Understanding Dental Implants

A dental implant is a titanium screw that is surgically inserted into the jawbone to support a prosthetic crown. It is attached directly to the bone and the bond between the implant and the bone is subjected to various effects of bacterial action, as well as biting forces. These forces will determine just how successfully the implant will react with the bone. Chronic bacterial infection and overloading of the implant causes the bone attachment to break, resulting in loose implants.

The good news is that if an implant fails, it can easily be replaced with another one. Additional procedures such as bone grafting can help increase the dental implant procedure's success.

Understanding Root Canals and Dental Crowns

It is always better to try preserving your natural teeth. With a root canal treatment, you get to preserve the contour of the crown and root of your natural teeth and oral hygiene maintenance becomes more convenient. Even though a root canal treated tooth lacks blood supply and nerves, it isn't completely numb since it remains attached to the bone through periodontal ligaments. The major risk associated with endodontic treatment is tooth fractures since a non-vital tooth tends to be quite brittle. In case the tooth fractures, a dental implant can still be placed.

When Should You Extract Your Tooth?

Tooth extractions may become necessary for the following situations:

  • Whole arch prosthesis: If a patient has lost most of his or her teeth and is left with a few healthy ones, the best option would be to remove the remaining teeth and make way for a full arch prosthesis.
  • Unrestorable tooth: If there is insufficient sound tooth structure left due to extreme decay, it will be better for patients to extract the affected tooth or teeth. Decayed tooth structures do not support a new crown that is needed to restore its shape and overall tooth function.

If you are unsure whether you need a root canal or dental implant treatment, consult with one of our board certified dentists at Guerrino Dentistry. Contact us to learn more about our services today.