Save a Permanent Tooth or Replace It with a Dental Implant

If you have severe dental issues, the dentist might suggest removing the teeth and replacing them with implants. Dental implants are the perfect tooth replacement because of their natural appearance and feel, durability and high success rate.

However, before opting to replace the tooth, you can choose to save the permanent teeth. The dentist may recommend root canal treatment for tooth decay reaching as far as the tooth’s interior. The process is done to clean the pulp chamber and root canals of decay and fill them to prevent future occurrences. The procedure is effective and less expensive than dental implants.

What should you do? Save the tooth or replace it with dental implants? This article will provide details about these procedures so that you can make an informed decision.

What are your options?

Root canal

Over the years, the root canal has been the preferred procedure for patients whose tooth root has been affected severely by trauma or decay. Before the process starts, the dental expert will numb the area around the root. Then an opening will be created on the tooth crown to reach the pulp chamber.

Afterward, the dentist will get rid of the infection and any dead pulp material before priming the tooth for the filling material. The filler, commonly made from a substance called gutta-percha, is inserted into the cleaned canals to prevent a future recurrence of infection or contamination. The dentist will place a temporary filling on the tooth before the permanent crown is ready.

Dental implants

The dentist may suggest dental implants if the tooth is severely damaged. Instead of attempting to repair the tooth, the dentist will remove it and fill the hole with a prosthetic tooth through an implant. The implant procedure entails replacing the tooth root with tiny titanium screws, called implants, through surgery.

The implant will be inserted into the jawbone, where it will fuse with the bone. Afterward, a crown will be placed on the implant, but not before the bone surrounding the implant has healed completely. The duration of treatment typically depends on multiple factors, but normal treatment takes two appointments.

At the first appointment, the implant will be inserted and given a few months to heal. The crown will be placed when you go for the second appointment. In some cases, the surgeon may be able to complete the entire process in one appointment.

Which should you choose?

Dental implants, after placement, are highly resistant to decay and can, therefore, last for several years. The drawback is that it is a surgical procedure and more invasive than tooth-saving procedures like a root canal. It can also be a bit more expensive than other treatment alternatives, although the cost proves to be worth it in the end.

A root canal preserves your natural tooth and is significantly less invasive than dental implant surgery. However, the success rate is lower, and the procedure may need to be repeated. Usually, when a root canal fails, the tooth will have to be extracted.

Final note

Ultimately, choosing to save your tooth or replace it is dependent on your personal requirements and preferences. Make sure you consult with your dentist if you have questions.

Request an appointment here: or call Smile by Design Dental Group at (949) 786-2820 for an appointment in our Irvine office.


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