Dental Implant vs. Root Canal: What Are the Differences?

Over two billion people worldwide suffer from a dental issue, whether it’s tooth loss, decay, or gum disease. They’re a pain to deal with because your smile and confidence are immediately affected.

Things become more complex when you are unsure how to deal with the issue. It isn’t about money—it’s about what’s best for your oral health.

That’s why there’s often the dental implant vs. root canal debate. Each offers a way to solve dental problems through very different procedures. Find out more about each below and if they’re right for you.

What Is a Dental Implant?

A dental implant is a procedure where a titanium root gets placed where you’re missing a tooth. It fits snuggly into your jawbone and slowly integrates with it over time.

They’re effective because they look and feel like a natural tooth. It’s also a painless procedure since dentists use local anesthesia to numb your mouth.

However, you’ll need a strong jawbone to support it to get a dental implant. Before the procedure begins, your dentist will use a CT scan to determine your jawbone dentistry. 

If it’s not strong enough, you’ll need a bone graft to strengthen your jaw. But it could significantly delay the operation. If you don’t want to opt for this route, you’ll have to use another dental procedure for your oral issues. 

Types of Dental Implants

Since everyone has a different jawbone structure and oral health, several types of dental implants St George Utah are available.

First, you have endosteal implants. These implants get placed directly into the jawbone and are held in place by abutments.

Next are subperiosteal implants, which aren’t all too common. Instead of getting placed in your jawbone, a metal base gets fitted under your gum, but on the jawbone.

Lastly, full mouth implants can replace the top or bottom row of your teeth. They’re a great substitute if you don’t want to use dentures.

What Is a Root Canal?

Root canals are well-known dental procedures for all the wrong reasons. These procedures become necessary when you have an infected or inflamed tooth causing issues.

Many believe it’s a painful procedure because a tooth is getting a vicious clean. However, you won’t feel a thing because local anesthesia numbs your mouth.

The dentist makes a small incision in the infected tooth and removes the tissue. Then it’s filled and closed off, so your tooth has the same functionality.  

Afterward, you’ll need to return to the dentist’s office a week or two later to remove the temporary filling and fit a crown if necessary. 

Choosing Between a Dental Implant vs. Root Canal

As you can see, dental implants and root canals are different procedures beneficial to your oral health. However, choosing between them will come down to various factors, such as:

Aesthetic Appearance

When choosing between a dental implant vs. root canal, your smile is a significant part of your decision. After all, you’re getting these procedures done to ensure you get your smile back to normal.

Dental implants aren’t visible to the naked eye. The only way someone will know that you have an implant is if they have an x-ray machine nearby (which is highly unlikely).

Root canals, on the other hand, aren’t visible either. But your tooth will still look the same. So if you had slight discoloration there before, it would remain after the procedure.

Allocated Time

How much time do you have? If the answer is “plenty,” you should opt for a dental implant. After your tooth gets extracted, you’ll need to wait a few months for the bone to heal before getting the implant. 

But you’ll also need to wait another few months after the implant integrates with your jawbone before any further work gets done. If you’re in a hurry, root canals are a better option.

Once your root canal is finished, you can go back to your dentist’s office a week or two later for the crown. After that, you’re done and only need to maintain your oral health.


Cost is always another significant factor when deciding between a root canal and a dental implant. People often opt for root canals because they’re less expensive than implants.

On average, expect to pay between $300 and $2000 for a root canal, whereas some implants can cost almost $10,000. These costs get determined by your location and the extent of dental work you need.

Recovery Period

Getting any work done on your teeth will come with some recovery time. However, each procedure has a different window.

You’ll recover from a root canal operation in a few days. But dental implants can take a few months to recover from—not including the time it takes for implant integration with your jawbone.

Tooth Functionality

Having healthy teeth means doing anything in your power to make that possible. A root canal is a plausible option for some because it helps save the tooth. 

The only downside is that root canals may only prolong the tooth’s lifespan a few more years. Since it’s an invasive procedure, it can weaken the tooth, speeding up the need for extraction. 

With implants, you’ll have full tooth functionality after the lengthy healing process. So extracting a weak tooth in the future won’t be a concern.

Figure Out the Best Option With Your Dentist

The dental implant vs. root canal debate will always leave some people scratching their heads. But the best way to decide on the best option is by talking to your dentist. They’re professionals and will know what you need.

Hopefully, you’ve learned important information today. For related content, check out the rest of our blog.