October 20, 2021

Dental Implant or Root Canal? Which Is The Better Choice?

Are you struggling to decide between a root canal or dental implant? Are you unsure whether you should save your tooth with a root canal or get a dental implant to replace the tooth? Today’s article will help you find an answer to these questions! 

What Is A Root Canal?

What Is A Dental Implant?

A root canal in itself is just the pulp-filled cavity (the tooth blood supply and nerve tissue).

What we refer to as Root Canal is the treatment approach that removes the infected pulp of a tooth and seals it with a filling material right to the end of the tooth root to get rid of an infection and protect the tooth from further microbial invasion to preserve the tooth. 

A dental implant takes this a step further. As opposed to trying to save the diseased or broken tooth, it is removed entirely.

The root of the tooth is replaced with a small titanium screw which is anchored in the jawbone.  This is what we call a dental implant. It then supports a crown or bridge of “fake teeth”.

When Does A Root Canal Treatment Make Sense?

If you want to preserve your tooth at all costs, it can be worth looking into getting a Root Canal versus a dental implant. Preservation is the main reason people choose Root Canal treatments over alternative tooth restoration or replacement methods. 

If you risk losing a tooth from infection, a Root Canal treatment can also prevent an infection from spreading to neighbouring teeth. Leave an infected root canal untreated, and you risk developing a major abscess at the root of the tooth as well as the deterioration of underlying bone tissue. 

Not to speak of the severe pain delaying treatment can cause. Eventually, no matter how skilled and experienced, your dentist might not be able to save the infected tooth and tissue, making a dental implant the only viable option. 

About 50 per cent of Root Canals last only about ten years before a terminal fracture, at which point the tooth will need to be extracted. 

Dental implants are comparable in cost to root canal treatment, both require a crown to be placed on top, replicating the existing tooth. 

Under 18 years of age, Root Canal treatments are the prefered choice. 

Since the jaws of children and young adults are still growing and developing, a Root Canal preserves the tooth, which holds space and prevents the surrounding teeth from shifting into the gap. 

Once growth ceases, the affected tooth can be replaced with a dental implant - a permanent solution to a missing tooth.

The Root Canal Procedure


Kings Dental.

Source: Kings Dental.

When the pulp of a tooth is infected and has become riddled with bacteria - as is common in dental decay, the pulp will have to be removed to prevent further spread and tooth loss. 

A Root Canal involves several three treatment stages and can be performed under local anaesthesia. 

 The three stages of a Root Canal treatment include: 

  1. Your dentist will clean the cavity, and remove infected tissue inside your tooth.
  2. Using irrigants to sterilise the inside of the tooth canal, they will fill the now hollow tooth with a material called gutta-percha.
  3. Once the filling has dried, your dentist places a tooth cap or crown on the tooth to ensure its longevity.

This process takes up to 90 min, which is a little longer than a standard filling. However, it often involves two or three visits to the dentist. 

Benefits and Downsides of Root Canal Treatments



  • With a Root Canal, you get to keep your natural tooth, ensuring proper chewing, biting, and speaking.
  • When done right, the risk of further infection is eliminated.
  • If even the smallest amount of bacteria remains after cleaning, it will cause an infection to spread again. 
  • A Root Canal leaves the structure of the remaining tooth weakened, prone to become brittle and split.
  • There might still be a need to place a crown or cap on your tooth to fix the damage and decay.
  • Caps or crowns have a lifespan of about ten years, which means they will have to be replaced eventually.

When Is A Dental Implant Advised? 

If you have one or more decayed, infected, broken or missing teeth, a dental implant is the best option to restore your smile. 

A dental implant is the only sensible solution when a tooth’s structure is damaged, fractured or decayed to the gum line.

Dental implants are the preferred solution for the treatment of broken teeth, which a filling cannot repair.

But since dental implants require surgery, some patients still hesitate to commit. 

The good news: Once successfully placed, a dental implant can last a lifetime - given that you take good care of it and follow all recommendations for good oral health

In terms of allowing you to lead a healthy and fulfilling life, without worrying about loose, missing or decayed teeth, dental implants and revolutionary treatment approaches such as All-on-4® with Dental Implants are still unmatched. 

The Dental Implant Procedure


Best Dental.

Source: Best Dental.

The placement of dental implants is performed by experienced dental surgeons. 

Once the broken or decayed tooth has been surgically removed, the implant will be placed right away. That means you won’t need to worry about coming back for anything other than a routine checkup. This drastically reduces the length of your downtime and hearing period. 

Benefits and Downsides of Dental Implants



  • Dental implants routinely outlive Root Canal procedures.
  • Dental implant surgery is comparable in cost to a Root Canal.
  • According to various clinical studies, the success rate varies from 95-98%
  • Dental implants avoid the loss of jaw bone and can be placed in bones of diminished quality. 
  • Dental implant surgery carries the same risks as any surgical procedure.
  • An artificial tooth can not perceive temperature or bite pressure - which also holds true for teeth treated with a Root Canal. 

Root Canal vs Dental Implant - The Verdict 

A single dental implant is likely to outlast a Root Canal Treatment. The latter is intended to last about a decade and may require further treatment, but usually if the root canal has failed, extraction of the tooth is the only option.

On the other hand, dental implants are a permanent solution, thus providing you with better long-term value. 

But, the choice is ultimately yours. Before making a decision, you should therefore ask yourself the following questions: 

  • How strongly do you feel about preserving your tooth?
  • Can you afford a dental implant/Root Canal? 
  • Does your medical history prevent one or both of the treatments?
  • Does your dentist have an adequate level of training?
  • Are you ok with the recovery times for both options?

If you’d like to learn more about dental implants and Root Canal alternatives, contact the friendly team at Next Smile™ to discuss your options with our experienced All-on-4® teams