Root Canal and Crown vs. Implant: How does one decide?

Root Canal and Crown vs. Implant: How does one decide?

Nov 25, 2020

Question: How do I make the decision to save a tooth with root canal and a crown, or pull it and get an implant?

Answer: First, this week’s rant: Recent headlines in the news reported people on Tik Tok are filing their own teeth down and gluing porcelain fangs onto their own canines. (Teeth; not poodles.)

Webster’s dictionary for the first time since 1898 has re-defined the word “moron” as follows:

  1. 1. One who files their teeth down and glues porcelain fangs onto their own canines.

After all the decay, old filling materials and any weak, thin pieces of tooth are removed, you must have at least five millimeters of tooth structure remaining, sticking up above the gum line in order for a root canal and crown to have long term success. If you ignore this, your tooth will last less than a car lease, i.e. Less than five years and could fail in even less than one year. (Or in the parking lot while walking to your car.)

At that point it is best to remove the tooth, place a bone graft if needed, insert an implant, and in three to four months restore the tooth with an abutment and crown. (Let me mansplain: the implant is the screw shaped titanium artificial root that goes into your bone; the abutment is the cylindrical post that connects the implant to the crown which replaces your missing tooth.)

You don’t want to invest in the same tooth twice; do it correctly just once.

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