ROOT CANAL SAFETY
Safe and Predictable
Saving your tooth with root canal treatment is highly safe and predictable. In addition to the decades of research and progress of endodontics, a compelling example for the safety and success of endodontic treatment is what we routinely observe with our patients. Not only do we see that endodontic treatment is able to relieve and eliminate painful symptoms, but we also regularly see the surrounding gums and bone return to a healthy state. This may be the elimination of swelling, or the growth of new healthy bone into a defect previously damaged by infection.
The above x-rays demonstrate the condition of the bone surrounding an infected root before, immediately after, and 6 months after root canal treatment. The bone which was previously damaged by infection, has been almost completely repaired by with new bone from the body's natural healing response. Bony healing like this verifies that endodontic treatment, in cooperation with your body’s response, doesn’t just arrest disease, it actually reverses it.
There is some blatantly false information about root canal treatment circulating on the internet. High on the google rankings, but not on truth, the underlying concept is called "focal infection theory" and suggests that bacteria from contaminated root canals leak into the host and cause almost every type of systemic disease. The theory is based on animal research that was improperly conducted over 100 years ago - long before the causes of many of the medical conditions were even understood. The research was poorly designed and was discredited in the 1950s as a better understanding of science and medicine emerged. Different variations of the theory re-emerge from time to time, causing unwarranted alarm in a few. Unfortunately, unfounded information like this influences some patients to make decisions that have long-lasting negative consequences.
Read the Dental Organizations' Letter to Netflix
Here are some facts regarding dental infection:
There is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canal treatment(s) to any health problem.
Read the AAE fact sheet
A study published in a journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA Otolaryngology—Head & Neck Surgery) found in 2013 that cancer risk does not increase after having a root canal treatment. In fact, the study showed that dental patients with multiple endodontic treatments had a 45 percent reduced risk of cancer! This is likely a casual association and not a cause and effect relationship because people who care for their overall health are also more likely to care for their teeth, and therefore more likely to have had a root canal.
Read the ENT Cancer Study
A contaminated root canal cause signs or symptoms that are often picked up on a routine dental exam. Often this can be resolved and reversed with root canal treatment, root canal retreatment, or apical surgery.
An infection from a tooth is typically well localized and contained by the surrounding tissues and immune system. An untreated dental infection takes resources from your immune system and should not be left untreated, as it will likely get worse over time. Such infections can spread acutely and can on very rare occasion become life threatening.
Certain individuals with predisposing medical conditions can develop a remote infection of prosthetic heart valves or joints from any dental procedure - ranging from a dental cleaning to an extraction. These complications are prevented with a single dose of antibiotics and are very rare. Most dentists will never see this occur in a patient throughout their entire career.
Sonendo Gentlewave is state-of-the-art technology that uses advanced fluid dynamics and soundwaves to completely clean and disinfect even the most complex canal anatomy. This incredible system accomplishes this while simultaneously allowing us to conserve more of your tooth structure, resulting in a cleaner, yet stronger tooth. With the Gentlewave, we have been able to save teeth that otherwise would have needed to be extracted. Click here to learn more.
High resolution Cone Beam Computed Tomography or (CBCT) imaging is frequently used in our office to improve diagnosis and treatment.
Diagnosis - CBCT scans allow us to visualize anatomical structures in 3 dimensions, and often identify problems that would otherwise go undetected. This may lead to an earlier and more accurate diagnosis.
CBCT scans are also extremely valuable in identifying when teeth will not benefit from Endodontic treatment. This minimizes wasting time, money, and hope on a hopeless situation.
Treatment - CBCT scans are drastically better at revealing the anatomy of a tooth which means that all canals are more easily identified and more efficiently treated. It has become very uncommon to “miss a canal” during endodontic treatment when high resolution CBCT technology is used.
3 dimensional CBCT images allow us to diagnose endodontic diseases earlier than with traditional 2 dimensional X-rays. CBCT is also more sensitive at identifying details that could complicate or affect the likelihood of saving a tooth. and other issues that could affect the ability to save the tooth.