Root Canal or Dental Implant?


Martin asks:
I recently went to the dentist and he informed me that I needed to have a root canal done. I then got a second opinion from another dentist who told me that a dental implant was a better option for my infected tooth. What treatment option do you recommend and why? Root Canal or Dental Implant? Thanks.

Answered by: Dr. Carlos Boudet

West Palm Beach, FL

Hi Martin,
Both dentists that you consulted had the advantage of looking at specific information about your case. Unfortunately, I don't have that information. So an opinion on whether you should have a root canal or a dental implant is difficult.

However, I can tell you this. In general, if the tooth that needs a root canal is weak or severely damaged, a dental implant could be a stronger, better choice.

Nevertheless, I suggest that you choose a local dentist that you like or trust and follow his advise.

Good luck,

Carlos Boudet, DDS, DICOI

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Expert Advice and Comments
dri's picture

depends on the condition of the tooth and other patient needs

This question is actually a hot topic in dental circles right now. Basically, with a root canal you will preserve your natural tooth, while with implants your tooth is replaced.

I believe that recent studies show no statistical difference in long-term outcomes for patients who received single-tooth dental implants and those with endodontically-treated teeth, i.e. root canal.

Therefore, as mentioned by Dr. Boudet, the decision to treat a tooth endodontically or replace it with a dental implant should be based on other individually specific criteria, other than the objective treatment choice itself.

These other criteria include the condition of the tooth and the patient's own viewpoint, i.e. some patients want to keep their own natural teeth and others may not want to undergo implant surgery.

To simplify things, some clinicians now suggest that if the tooth can reasonably be expected to last greater than 5 years, then do the endodontic (root canal) treatment is preferred. However, if the tooth will not last, an dental implant could be a better choice.

But, still you must examine multiple factors, such as patient age, bone condition, soft tissue, parafunctional habits, hygiene, financial condition etc.

The bottom line is that this is not an either/or decision. The decision for a root canal or dental implant must be made individually with each patient, based upon an examination of the specific details of the case.

cboudet's picture

Implant vs Endo

Answered By: Dr. Carlos Boudet - West Palm Beach , FL

I agree with the reply posted.

Carlos A. Boudet, DDS, DICOI

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