I am angry. I am really angry. “Estoy enojado!” I am angrier than a Chihuahua with an anal gland problem, dragging his but across the carpet, while watching the State of the Union Address.
Root Canals Are Totally Safe
A new film claims root canals cause cancer. Don’t believe it. Oral care professionals urge Netflix, Amazon and other companies to remove Root Cause, a documentary spreading misinformation that root canals leave you with an infection that never goes away. A complete lie.
I have the pleasure and good fortune to have one of the nation’s top endodontist, root canal specialist, working in my office for a decade; Dr. Julie Kennedy, DMD. We discussed this horrific, misleading “film” at length.
Among the most jarring claims in Root Cause is a connection between root canals and breast cancer. This is completely erroneous and just scares humanity for no reason other than to get attention; the equivalent of yelling fire in a crowded movie theater.
The premise the film is based on dates back to research conducted in the 1920s which was later disproved because the original conditions for the experiments were poorly controlled and performed in non-sterile environments. Perhaps most importantly, other researchers have not been able to duplicate the results from the original experiment. Why portray information demonstrated to be incorrect as fact?
Large-scale population-based research shows that people with root canals actually have a lower risk of cardiovascular mortality or death from a cardiovascular condition.
And there aren’t any studies that show people who get root canals have a higher risk of cancer, said Eric Jacobs, senior scientific director of epidemiology research at at the American Cancer Society. In fact, research on the link between cancer and endodontic procedures like root canals shows that people who have had these treatments have a lower risk of certain cancers.
“The danger of these claims is that these fears can crowd out other, real cancer risks,” Jacobs said, noting that viewers may wind up ignoring known risk factors for getting or dying of cancer, including smoking, weight gain, and failing to get the right cancer screening tests on time.
Instead of getting a root canal, the film claims that pulling the infected tooth is the safest approach, and dentists worry the film is influencing patients to unnecessarily have damaged teeth removed that could have easily been saved.
While root canals can’t save every tooth, leaving the natural tooth intact helps maintain the jawbone’s original structure. Without the original tooth, the surrounding jawbone that once supported it will eventually break down, affecting a person’s appearance and their ability to chew.
Let’s say I have an infection under my fingernail, do you amputate my finger because of that? That’s exactly what they’re claiming.
Dr. Mitchell Josephs practices Implant, Cosmetic and General Dentistry with an emphasis on implants, porcelain veneers, and complex crown and bridge treatment. He is on staff at JFK Medical Center and is a Faculty Advisory Board member at McGill University’s Faculty of Dentistry. He completed his residency at Manhattan’s Beth Israel Medical Center and Mt. Sinai Hospital.