Root Canal Safety

The relationship of our teeth and mouth to overall good health is indisputable. Endodontics plays a critical role in maintaining good oral health by eliminating infection and pain, and preserving our natural dentition.

A key responsibility of any dentist is to reassure patients who are concerned about the safety of endodontic treatment that their overall well-being is a top priority. The American Association of Endodontists website (www.aae.org) is the best place for anxious patients to obtain comprehensive information on the safety and efficacy of endodontics and root canal treatment.

While plenty of good information is available online from the AAE and other reliable resources, patients sometimes arrive in the dental office with misinformation. This has occurred with the long-dispelled “focal infection theory” in endodontics, introduced in the early 1900s. In the 1920s, Dr. Weston A. Price presented research suggesting that bacteria trapped in dentinal tubules during root canal treatment could “leak” and cause almost any type of generative systemic disease (e.g., arthritis; diseases of the kidney, heart, nervous, gastroinestinal, endocrine and other systems). This was before medicine understood the causes of such disease.

Dr. Price advocated tooth extraction—the most traumatic dental procedure—over endodontic treatment. This theory resulted in a frightening era of tooth extraction both for treatment of systemic disease and as a prophylactic measure against future illness. Dr. Price’s research techniques were criticized at the time they were published, and by the early 1930s, a number of well-designed studies using more modern research techniques discredited his findings.

Decades of research have contradicted Dr. Price’s findings since then. In 1951, the Journal of the American Dental Association published a special edition reviewing the scientific literature and shifted the standard of practice back to endodontic treatment for teeth with non-vital pulp in instances where the tooth could be saved. The JADA reviewed Dr. Price’s research techniques from the 1920s and noted that they lacked many aspects of modern scientific research, including absence of proper control groups and induction of excessive doses of bacteria.

More recent research continues to support the safety of dental treatment as it relates to overall systemic health. In 2007, the American Heart Association updated its guidelines on the prevention of infective endocarditis, drastically curbing the indications for premedication for dental procedures and excluding endodontic treatment from dental procedures requiring premedication. In April 2012, the AHA found no scientific evidence linking periodontal disease and heart disease, concluding that heart disease and periodontal disease often coincidentally occur in the same person due to common risk factors of smoking, age and diabetes mellitus.

Decades of research contradict the beliefs of “focal infection” proponents; there is no valid, scientific evidence linking endodontically treated teeth and systemic disease. Yet some patients still hear about this long-dispelled theory.

References

Jamie M. Day, DDS, MS, PLLC

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I was so impressed with the professionalism and compassion shown by Dr. Day and her whole staff. My daughter was very scared to have this procedure done and they put her at ease and worked so quickly and thoroughly to make it as painless as possible. The experience was so pleasant she jokingly asked a root canal for her birthday!

- Lynlee K

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Dr. Day and her staff are extremely professional, compassionate, and thorough. The thought of a root canal was stressful. Dr. Day made the procedure stress free and painless. I highly recommend her.

- A. D. M

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Awesome staff! Dr. Day is great!

- David G

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Only a couple of very minor twinges of pain during the procedure, and 8 hours later no pain at all. Dr. Day explained what she was doing during the procedure, which was helpful. Her assistant and staff were also very polite and helpful in answering questions. I highly recommend her practice.

- Theodore L

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Very pleasant experience with Dr. Day as well as everyone involved. I would highly recommend Dr. Day.

- Linda J. J

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Everything was fabulous! The only thing I didn’t expect was no cuspidor bowl! Haha! Made a mess of my bib! :).

- Lynn H

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Everything about my dental experience with Dr. Day and her office staff was first class. I have complete confidence in Doctor Day. I don't like to go to any dentist office, but, I felt right at home and knew I was in the best hands.

- Lyle C

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I had such a wonderful experience with this office. Took such great care of me!

- Skyler W

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The procedure was quick and relatively painless. The staff is friendly and kind. The aftercare instructions were very helpful. I highly recommend this practice

- Judy B

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very professional and spotless office. painless root canal no pain since procedure. highly recommend.

- STEVEN W

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Everyone was very nice and supportive. I really appreciated how they took the time to explain the procedure and put me at ease. Also, it was so interesting and relaxing watching the birds visiting their bird feeder the window.

- Sherry D

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I am very satisfied with Dr. Day and her staff's root canal treatment. Very professional and pleasant office atmosphere.

- Linda I

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Great experience. Professional staff, painless procedure.

- Jeff W

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Dr. Day and the whole staff were very professional. The procedure was painless. Root canal therapy isn't fun, but if you must have one, I highly recommend Dr. Day. Today was the second time she has performed this procedure on me and both times were pretty routine.

- Mark H

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I've had a number of root canals over the years at different dentists and will say that I have never experienced as high a degree of competence and professionalism as I have with Dr. Day and her team. Highly recommended!

- Patrick T

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Staff was very professional, friendly and well organized. As Dr Day said before the procedure the root canal, contrary to hear say, was no more uncomfortable than having a filling. Thank You.

- George C

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Very friendly and professional. Thank you.

- Michael U

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I was impressed with all aspects of my experience. The office was clean and comfortable. The office staff was friendly and efficient. Dr. Day has a friendly, professional manner that reassured me that I was going to be well cared for, and that is what happened. Two days out I feel great and very thankful. I would highly recommend Dr. Day's Office to a friend.

- Kirk P

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From the time I arrived it was definitely the right choice, super friendly environment and professional manners across the board. Having a root canal wasn’t at the top of my list of things to endure but it truly was painless and very quick, clean, and informative. Highly recommend

- Bill R

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I cant express enough how calm Dr. Day made me feel. Im usually not a fan of anything dental but I absolutely felt no pain during my root canal or the day after I was home. Dr. Day and her staff are very friendly and make you feel welcome and calm. I had a few root canals done with Dr. Day and I will always go back if needed. Thank you Dr. Day and staff.

- Wendy R

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