For patients torn between the best way to treat a compromised tooth, a 2007 systematic review comparing two of the most common treatment options – root canals and dental implants – found virtually equal success, or survival rates, between both treatments.
However, despite this similarity, the authors conclude that the priority should always be to preserve the natural tooth before extracting and replacing with an implant. In the majority of cases, endodontic treatment can save a diseased or injured tooth--more than 17 million a year. Sometimes, a tooth cannot be saved, and will need to be extracted and replaced with a prosthetic, or artificial, tooth. Talk to your dentist or endodontist about your treatment options so that you make the best choice for your long-term health. If your dentist suggests extracting the tooth, ask him or her to discuss your case with an endodontist, a dentist with specialized training in endodontic procedures.
The results of the treatment analysis were published by the International Journal of Oral and Maxillofacial Implants, the official publication of the Academy of Osseointegration, an organization committed to advancing dental implants. The Academy also published a consensus statement developed by experts from several dental disciplines that supports the comparison’s findings and stresses the importance of patient-specific considerations.
The following resources will help you stay informed about your treatment options with new materials added as they become available.
If you have suggestions or questions, please email email@example.com.
Treatment Options for the Diseased Tooth
Root canal or dental implant? (WebMD, November 2008; PDF File, 170 KB)
Dental implants need more work than root canals (HealthDay, November 2008; PDF File, 192 KB)
AAE Prewritten News Article: Endodontists Demystify The Feared Root Canal—One Tooth At A Time (PDF File, 137 KB)
AAE Position Statement on Implants (PDF File, 119 KB)
Is Endodontics Passé? Editorial (OOOOE, October 2008; PDF File, 137 KB) and AAE Letter to the Editor response (OOOOE, April 2009; PDF File, 190 KB)
Hebballi NB, Ramoni R, Kalenderian E et al. The dangers of dental devices as reported in the Food and Drug Administration Manufacturer and User Facility Device Experience Database. J Am Dent Assoc 2015;146(2):102-110.
International Journal of Oral & Maxillofacial Implants. Guidelines For The Provision Of Dental Implants. Intl J Oral Maxillofac Implants 2008;23(3).
Torabinejad, M, Goodacre, CJ. Endodontic or dental implant therapy: The factors affecting treatment planning. J Am Dent Assoc 2006;137(7):973-977.
White, SN. Complementary Therapies, Not Competing Treatments. Intl J Prosthodont 2008;21(1). (No abstract available)
White S, Akhparyan E, Kutshenko D, Torabinejad M. Endodontics and Tooth Retention. Intl J Prosthodont 2007;20(4):343-344. (No abstract available)
Wolcott J, Meyers J. Endodontic Re-treatment or Implants: A Contemporary Conundrum. Compend Contin Educ Den 2006;27(2):104-110.
The AAE partners with Dear Doctor to provide dental articles to the general public.