Endodontics vs. Implants

Excerpt from the Journal of Endodontics ‘Quality of Life of Endodontically Treated versus Implant Treated Patients: A University-based Qualitative Research Study’

“When it comes to endodontics or implants, several factors must be considered, including the patient’s preferences. Many clinical studies comparing endodontic treatment and implant placement show similar outcomes and survival rates, but few have examined patient satisfaction following the procedures. However, a new study in the July 2011 Journal of Endodontics compares the quality of life of patients receiving endodontic treatment versus implants and could spark conversations between endodontists and general dentists. Published by researchers at the University of Washington School of Dentistry, the study was designed to qualitatively describe and compare the quality of life in patients with restored, single endodontically treated teeth versus patients with single implant-supported fixes prostheses. The study included 37 patients: 17 received endodontic treatment and 20 had an implant placed. Patients participated in discussion groups and completed a quality of life survey, the Oral Health Impact Profile, to assess their satisfaction with their procedure. While both groups of patients reported they were pleased with their treatment, both groups also expressed a clear message to save their natural dentition whenever possible. This is an important point to share with your general dentist partners—regardless of whether they undergo endodontic treatment or implant placement, patients believe it is important to keep their natural teeth. Patients agreed that keeping their teeth and having a healthy smile was important and an indicator of their overall health. Additionally, a recent national AAE survey found that 70 percent of Americans want to avoid losing their natural teeth. Implant patients in the JOE study also reported more pain from their tooth extraction than those who underwent the root canal procedure. All dental practitioners should be concerned with tooth retention, and be guided by the best interests of the patient, which include quality of life following the procedure.”