Whether you have a deep cavity, a cracked tooth, or an injury, an infection that extends to the pulpy part of your tooth is something that you want to get taken care of right away. Root canals are effective treatments for removing disease from your teeth. That said, this procedure isn't your only option. Dental implants are also common fixes for the same types of problems. If you're not sure which one to go with, check out the differences and advantages of each.
Preserving the Tooth
A root canal removes the part of the tooth that's causing you issues. But it doesn't require the dentist to remove your entire tooth. If preserving your natural tooth is important to you, this may be the way to go. Dental implants require extraction. This means your dentist or oral surgeon must pull the entire tooth out, not just the infected or injured part. Even though visible dental crowns look like real teeth, the implant system isn't a natural part of your mouth.
Number of Visits
Both procedures can take multiple dental visits. Many root canals can be completed comfortably in one visit. In some cases, you may need to return for additional work, such as the addition of a crown (to protect the tooth). Dental implants almost always take several visits. Along with removing the existing tooth, the procedure includes having a metal post anchored into the jaw bone and a crown placed on top.
Future Mouth Health
Now you know that a root canal means that you can keep your existing tooth. Even though the decayed or damaged part of the pulp is removed, the tooth isn't necessarily protected against future issues. You can still get a cavity in a tooth that has had a root canal. This is why proper dental care (at home and at the dentist's office) is so important. If you go with an implant, you don't need to worry about cavities (at least, not in the implant). These aren't natural teeth and won't decay. But that doesn't mean the gums or teeth surrounding the implant are infection- or cavity-proof. While the crown itself won't decay, you still need to take care of your mouth in the same way that you would if you had a full set of natural teeth.
Whether you choose a root canal or dental implants, both types of procedures are considered medically safe. They are both completely common treatments and can help you to feel and look better. The decision whether to get one over the other is an individual choice that depends on your specific needs and your dentist's evaluation. Contact a clinic like Airport Road Dental Associates to learn more.