Most people do have to face the fact that at some point in their life, they will have a tooth that “goes bad”, starts to cause pain and will need to have treatment to make it better. More often than not, a root canal can be performed and gives the patient many years of enjoyment free of pain and discomfort.
Even though a root canal is a great option for infected or abscessed teeth there may come a point where the patient considers a dental implant as a treatment option. The use of dental implants as a valid option has exploded in the last 10 years. Initially it was touted that extracting a tooth and placing an implant was a “permanent solution.” Studies have shown that implants can and do fail and are far from a permanent solution to tooth pain.
A common debate is “root canal vs. dental implant”, which is best for the patient?
As with many dental questions, there is no one right answer to this question, it depends upon many factors, patient’s age, overall health, opposing tooth and cost. Root canal cost v. implant cost is what we will probe in this article. In general terms, a single tooth implant will cost significantly more than a root canal. Let’s use a molar tooth in this example.
The root canal cost breaks down as follows: Exam, x-ray, root canal, buildup, crown. For a tooth to be fully restored after a root canal, it can take as few as two weeks.
The dental implant cost breaks down as follows: Exam, x-ray, extraction, bone graft, implant surgery, healing abutment and crown. Some dental implants can be placed immediately after extraction, however most of the time the extraction site has to heal for up to six months and the patient uses a stay plate or flipper to fill in the hole. A dental implant is a surgical procedure and the healing time for each patient can vary.
Here are the costs side by side, using the Usual and Customary Fees in the Phoenix, AZ area for endodontists and periodontists for a molar tooth:
There are a lot of variables regarding both procedures, and the example above shows what the costs could be if you needed all of the services listed. The costs shown are representative of the root canal cost and dental implant cost and services in our market. As mentioned above, neither dental implants or root canal treatment will last forever. Before making a treatment choice, a patient should weigh all of the factors involved, speak with their general dentist and endodontist in order to make the most informed decision based on the individual.