A dental implant and a root canal treatment can both help you avoid being toothless. The implant treatment gives you an artificial tooth while the root canal treatment preserves your natural tooth. Here are four essential factors to consider when choosing between the two.
The Need for Follow-up
Just like many other dental treatments, both a root canal and a dental implant may require follow-up treatment. However, research data shows more dental implants require follow-up treatments compared to root canals. The difference is significant, with implant's follow-up rate at 12.4% while that of endodontic treatment is at 1.3%. Thus, a root canal would seem favorable if you have a fear of the dentist and want to limit your frequency of dental consultations.
Available data shows that both treatments have comparable success rates, at least within the three-year period considered in this study. The probability of retaining your tooth (artificial for the implant and natural for the endodontic treatment) ranges from 98% to 99%. Therefore, the success rate cannot be your determining factor when choosing between the treatments.
Cost of Treatment
If you are comparing the two based on their costs, then you should know that a root canal is relatively inexpensive compared to a dental implant. According to MedicineNet.com, the cost of a root canal ranges from $400 to $1,400 while that of an implant ranges from $3,000 to $4,500.
However, don't forget that these are broad averages, and there are many other factors that determine the true cost of each treatment. For example, a root canal on a multi-rooted tooth costs more than the same treatment on a single-rooted tooth.
Since many people don't like going to the dentist, it's important to consider the time needed to complete each treatment regime. After all, starting but not completing treatment will not benefit you in any way.
A root canal treatment session lasts anywhere from 30 to 90 minutes. Your treatment may be over after one session, but in some cases, you may need two or more treatment sessions. As for dental implants, you are looking at a treatment time of slightly less than an hour. They can also be placed in a single session or multiple sessions. Note that these durations only apply to the actual treatments; you may need further consultations and longer treatment sessions if you have complications.
These are some of the factors to consider, but they are mostly based on average observations. Your unique health condition, as well as type and location of teeth, will influence your treatment. Thus, in addition to these general observations, talk to an expert at a dental company like Rupp and Grabowski Family Dentistry, for example. Compare the two treatments with your teeth before making a decision.