What is the Difference between Implants, Root Canals and Crowns?

Dental implants

Your dentist has recommended some dental work for you. He used terms like dental implants, root canals, and crowns. Truthfully, you got a little lost in the discussion. Now, you’d like to know exactly what each procedure means. Read on for an explanation of each and what the differences are.

Dental Implant – A dental implant is chosen when the root of the tooth is beyond repair. The dental implant is a metal component that fuses to the jaw bone to become a prosthesis to hold a new tooth. It acts as the root of the tooth to hold it in place. An artificial tooth is then attached to the false root. A dental implant can be done on any tooth. This is a more invasive procedure than a root canal or crown; however, the results are excellent.

Root Canal  A root canal is done in an attempt to save a tooth that is severely decayed or infected. During this procedure, the dental professional repairs the tooth by removing the nerve and the pulp. Once these are removed, the tooth is sealed. This prevents further infection and can save the tooth. A person may need a root canal if they have severe decay; large fillings; a crack, chip, or trauma to the tooth; or even repeated dental procedures. Often a root canal can save a tooth, and nothing more needs to be done.

Crown – A crown is a tooth-shaped piece placed over the tooth to restore its shape and size, strength, or improve its appearance, according to WebMD. Crowns are sometimes used in conjunction with other dental work, like dental implants or repairing a broken tooth. Sometimes this is the first line of defense in dentist offices before other more invasive dental work, like a dental implant.

Tooth diagram.


Which procedure is best?

When it comes to deciding what procedure is best, these are not always interchangeable. Sometimes there is a clear line of which procedure is best for you; other times, you may need to decide with the help of your dental professional. For instance, a crown may be a simple fix for a large cavity, while a root canal may work if you have an infected tooth. You may need a dental implant if there is no chance of saving the root or tooth.

A dental implant is necessary if the tooth needs to be extracted. Usually, once an implant is done, the replacement tooth will simply need the same care as your other teeth and last a lifetime. It is a more invasive procedure than a root canal, though.

The best thing to do is talk to your dentist and ask questions. If you would like to speak with one of our expert professionals, please contact us at Watkin Dental Associates. We are a dentist office that’s committed to helping our patients!