When a tooth is failing, a person has the option of obtaining a root canal and a crown or an extraction of the failing tooth and the placement of a dental implant. Research is ongoing attempting to determine which course of action is advisable under different sets of circumstances.
Success Rate of Dental Implants Versus Root Canals and Crowns
A number of different studies conclude that the success rate of procedures for root canals and crowns versus dental implants are about the same. The difference in the success rate between the two is negligible and does not, in and of itself, recommend one course of treatment over another.
Ultimate Long-Term Failure Rates
While a root canal and dental implant procedure typically are equally successful, the long-term failure rate do differ somewhat. A root canal procedure followed by a crown usually provides life-long benefits to a patient. The crown is likely to require repair. But, further invasive intervention typically is not necessary. In other words, a root canal rarely fails over the long term.
A dental implant can require more intervention in the future than is the case with a root canal and crown. 12.4 percent of dental implants will require some type of additional intervention after the initial procedure, according to the American Association of Endodontists. 1.3 percent of root canals require additional intervention, beyond crown replacement.
Although additional intervention may be necessary for a root canal or dental implant, this is done to prevent failure. Ultimately, only 1.6 percent of dental implants ever completely fail, requiring removal, according to the Journal of Endodontics. When it comes to root canals, the same ultimate failure rate is .7 percent.
Coordinating Root Canals and Dental Implants
There is a consensus among endodontists, and other dental professionals, that a solid course of treatment for most patients is providing a patient with a root canal and crown if possible. The objective is to preserve at least a portion of the natural tooth structure. If the natural tooth is too far gone for that process, the tooth should be extracted and replaced with a dental implant.
With that noted, economics does play a role. The root canal and crown process oftentimes can prove to be more expensive than a dental implant. Many Americans do not have dental insurance coverage, and must self-pay. Therefore, economics does play a role in the first choice of treatment for some patients.
Ultimately, a person in need of intervention for a compromised natural tooth needs to consult closely with a dental professional. Through a consultation, a determination can be made as to the best course of action at a particular juncture. You might be interested in learning more at the Chrysalis Dental Centres website.