I am a cancer survivor and am currently in remission. I go to this support group and a member brought a movie which showed how a root canal treatment can cause cancer. Essentially, instead of having a root canal you should have the tooth removed. I had a root canal treatment a few years before I was diagnosed with cancer. Could this have caused it? Will keeping the tooth put me at risk for the cancer returning? I’m now kicking myself wondering if I should have seen a holistic dentist back then because I’ve heard they don’t do root canal treatments.
I’m not sure if something was lost in translation or if the movie was misleading. Either way, here is what will help you have peace of mind.
There is a small handful of people who feel it is better to extract a tooth than to get a root canal treatment because they say it harbors bacteria. It’s kind of a true, but not for what they’re implying kind of thing. While it is true that teeth requiring a root canal treatment have bacteria because of the infection, that infection (including the bacteria) is cleaned out. Then the canal is sterilized and closed. Nothing can get in and out.
One thing you should be aware of is that your body always has both good and bad bacteria in it. This is actually important. Without some bad bacteria, your immune system would never develop. The first time your body was introduced to an illness it could end up killing you.
The Center of the Controversy
Old research by Weston Price is what led to this controversy. Unfortunately, his research was fundamentally flawed. His experiments were done in non-sterile environments and had poor control factors. One important principle of scientific discovery is that other scientists should be able to duplicate the results. No one has duplicated his results.
Current research tells the opposite of what you are hearing. For example, various studies have shown that patients who’ve had root canals have a lower risk of certain cancers, as well as reduced cardiovascular mortality.
Not Every Holistic Dentist Avoid Root Canal Treatments
Each holistic dentist varies in how they treat patients. Holistic dentistry isn’t a recognized specialty with a standard treatment across the board. It is simply a mindset which considers the whole body in treatment and not just your teeth. In fact, while there is a small extreme group that will extract a tooth rather than do a root canal, most holistic dentists still do them.
What they will do is listen to their patients. If extracting the tooth makes you more comfortable, they may do that even though it is unnecessary. Plus, you should also consider the added expense. If you remove a tooth, you have to replace it. The best tooth replacement is a dental implant. That requires surgery. The next best replacement would be a dental bridge. That requires you to grind down the two adjacent teeth for dental crowns.
This blog is brought to you by Decatur, AL Dentists Drs. Drake and Wallace.