One of the goals of modern dentistry is to help keep teeth healthy and sound because they’re supposed to last for a lifetime. Given the harsh environment of the oral cavity, this can be a challenging job; yet advances in dentistry are now helping more people keep their natural teeth longer than ever before.So if the natural teeth can be saved, are implants truly a “better” treatment option? And if you want to save your own teeth, what alternative treatments might be needed?
Root Canal To The Rescue?
Root canal therapy is one of the most effective procedures for retaining teeth that have been compromised by severe decay or structural problems. And while it has been used for decades, not all root-canal-treated teeth last forever. Retreatment may be needed for a variety reasons and the decision to retreat an already compromised tooth becomes more difficult, and other options may be considered.
The decision to replace a root-canal-treated tooth or teeth with dental implants will depend on many factors, including the reason for failure, the integrity of the tooth and its roots and the patient’s overall health.
Dental Implants — Other Considerations
Dental implants are widely considered to be among dentistry’s greatest modern advances and the most successful tooth replacement systems. Dental implants have become an increasingly popular option because they:
• Are highly predictable;
• Often last for many decades;
• Result in aesthetic and functional tooth replacements;
• Can replace single or multiple teeth, or even all of the teeth in the upper or lower jaws;
• Can allow for either fixed or removable replacement teeth for those who are missing single or multiple teeth;
• Are the only tooth replacement option that maintains the jawbone and hence facial contours;
• Do not require adjacent teeth to be used for support;
• Are not subject to tooth decay.
In some circumstances, there may be a clear reason to replace compromised teeth with dental implants rather than attempt to restore them via root canal therapy, periodontal therapies or other procedures. You need to consider just how important it is to you to keep your natural teeth. All other things being equal, it may come down to quality of life and value.