Thursday, 30 October 2014

Root Canal or Dental Implants?

If you have a bad tooth, how far will you go to save it? Or would you want to save it at all?
 As a root canal specialist, I openly admit my bias to attempt to save every tooth; rather than remove it to be replaced by a dental implant. And I also know of dental implant specialists who say that dental implants are a replacement option for missing teeth, not a replacement for teeth per se. (Not so fast with Dental Implants). That is to say, if you have already lost a tooth, dental implant is the best substitute option. But if you have a tooth that can be saved by root canal, here are 5 reasons why you should save your tooth:
  1. The world is going "natural". Alternative medical disciplines, that believe in nature's cures, are gaining popularity everywhere. The world is moving from fertilizers to organic foods. Science is accepting that tuning into nature relaxes more than popping pills for every ailment. Vegans and animal right activists are campaigning for the cause of nature. When the whole world is going "natural", do you want to lose your natural tooth for an artificial replacement?
  2. Health is wealth. With the excellent benefits they offer, dental implants cannot still stand up to the natural teeth in terms of health and function. The biggest health problem that loss of a natural tooth poses is loss of the bone at the place of the tooth. And while dental implants do exceptionally well compared to bridges and dentures in this regard. there is nothing like your natural tooth for the health of jaw bone. And, root canal incurs less treatment expenses than dental implants.  
  3. Time is money. Conventionally, dental implant treatment takes months for completion - starting with a surgical stage to the final capping stage. While capping is now, in many cases, immediately done after the surgery that places implant in your jawbone, so has root canal treatment evolved from a multiple visit to a single visit procedure. And, did i mention that root canal is more economical too? 
  4. The million dollar smile! When it comes to looks, there is nothing that can match your natural tooth. While this may not be so relevant here on a bigger scale considering both a root canal tooth and a dental implant will require capping, minute aspects of cosmetics like "emergence profile" - how the tooth or cap comes out from the gums, are usually better for a natural tooth. Moreover, you may opt for the most cosmetic ceramic crowns for root canal teeth at a much lower cost than what you would have to pay for less cosmetic systems with implants!
  5. What does Science say? Even medical science accepts the fact that a natural tooth is the best in terms of health and function. Also, there have been numerous studies comparing the success rates of root canal and dental implants - and all of them show similar results; with root canal faring marginally better in most studies (How long will my root canal last?). These studies also slay the common misconception that a root canal treated tooth will keep taking you back to the dentist and one day, you will eventually have to let the tooth go for a dental implant. In fact, a study showed that 12% of dental implants needed further intervention as compared to 1% of root canal treated teeth. (Root Canal or Dental Implant). 
 Dental science and technology has today progressed to a point where almost every tooth can be saved with root canal, provided you are willing to, because there are many adjunctive treatments to help in the worst of cases. Even root canal cases that have failed can be successfully re-treated (Endodontic Retreatment). So, are you ready to make the choice? 
The Better Bet??


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