Dental implant vs root canal treatment (RCT) is the most common debate regarding damaged teeth. Worry not! This specially curated article will help you decide the best option for your damaged tooth!

Dental Implants Vs Root Canal (RCT)

Dental Implants Vs Root Canal

Is It Better To Get an Implant or a Root Canal?

The treatment selection depends upon many factors, such as the tooth’s condition, the patient’s dental health, financial considerations, and the patient’s choice.

Let’s look at root canal vs implant pros and cons to ease our confusion.

Dental Implants

Dental implants are metal fixtures placed after extracting the damaged tooth in cases where it can’t be repaired/saved. [1]

Dental Implant Procedure

Dental Implant Procedure

Let’s now have a look at the pros and cons of implants:


  • The aesthetics are great
  • Very low chances of failure
  • Minimally invasive alternative

Source: NCBI [2]


  • Infection
  • Screw loosening
  • Fracture of the implant

Source: NCBI [3]


Root Canal Treatment

RCT is done to repair and save a badly damaged or infected tooth instead of removing it. [4]

Root Canal Treatment

Root Canal Treatment

Here are the pros and cons of RCT:


  • Excellent clinical outcomes
  • Preservation of natural teeth
  • Sometimes requires only a single visit

Source: PubMed [5]


  • Post-operative pain
  • Risk of bacterial re-infection
  • Expensive than regular dental procedures

Source: PubMed [6]


Cost of Implant vs Root Canal

Dental implants are usually more expensive than root canals as they require surgery.

Root canals cost $700 to $1,500 per tooth, and dental implants can range from $3,000 to $5,000.

Many patients do not have dental insurance, which makes root canal the more affordable and accessible choice.

However, you can consider cheap options of dental implants abroad as an alternative to dental implants in your country.

Also, you can get cheap alternatives to root canals and implants in countries like IndiaThailand, and Mexico.

What is Healthier, Root Canal or Dental Implant?

Root canals are an affordable option for saving your natural tooth.

However, sometimes it can weaken the tooth, making it prone to infections. [7]

These infections eventually lead to failure or re-treatment.

Whereas dental implants have minimal failures with high success rates. [8]

So, root canals can be affordable, but dental implants have long-term benefits.

Potential Risks/Complications

Let’s have a look at the potential risks associated with both procedures.


Dental Implants

Here are some of the complications associated with implants:

  • Gum Recession:

Sometimes, gums and tissues around your implant may begin to recede.

This can cause pain and discomfort.

  • Lack of Osseointegration:

Osseointegration means the fusing of implants with the jawbone.

Sometimes, the absence of this also leads to implant failure.

  • Sinus Problems:

Dental implants in the upper jaw can extend into the sinus cavities, causing swelling of the sinuses.

This condition is known as sinusitis.

It can lead to toothache, swelling in the cheeks, headache, and nasal blockage.

  • Infection:

There could be an infection in the gum or bone tissue around the implants.

Treatment for infection depends on the severity and location of the infection.

Source: Medical News [9]


Root Canal Treatment

Here are some of the complications associated with RCT:

  • Inflammation:

You could experience some infection after the treatment, which may also lead to tooth decay.

  • Cracked tooth:

A crack in your root going unnoticed during the procedure is a potential root canal side effect.

The crack can lead to bacterial growth in that area and require further treatment.

  • Failure of treatment:

Sometimes, a root canal doesn’t work for the first time. This could be due to bacterial re-growth.

And when that happens, the solution to fix it is to perform RCT again or get the tooth extracted.

This can be followed by an implant placement.

Source: Colgate [10]


Final Word

Your dentist will examine and make you aware of all the long-term benefits of both the processes, and then the final decision will be yours, considering all the points.

Are you still wondering whether to save your tooth or pull it?

FAQs

Dental implants are usually more expensive than root canals as they require surgery.

Root canals cost $700 to $1,500 per tooth, and dental implants can range from $3,000 to $5,000.

Yes, if the endodontic procedure couldn’t save your tooth and it needs to be extracted, you can have a dental implant.

There is mild discomfort associated during the post-treatment period for both the procedures.

However, the pain usually subsides within 3-5 days.

For an RCT, it is sometimes slightly more painful due to the complexity of the root canals.

On the other hand, the extraction socket might turn extremely painful if post-operative instructions are incorrectly followed.

Wondering which is a better choice for you?

Our dentists can help