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Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Do Root Canals harm your health? NO!!!

This past summer a young man came into my practice after hitting his front teeth in a car accident.  Two of the front teeth would require root canals as a result of the blows to them.  The third tooth had part of the crown fractured diagonally but at present did not require root canal treatment.  It would require a crown.
I referred this young man to an Endodontist (specialist in root canals) for this treatment.  Two weeks later this young man came into my office asking to speak to me.  He informed me that he had cancelled his appointment with the Endodontist and was inquiring about having his front teeth replaced with implants.
I asked him why he was considering this course of action?  He responded by telling me that he had read on the internet that root canals would harm his health.
Great, another internet Myth!
I told this young man that he had NOTHING to worry about when it comes to root canals.  That the treatment was safe and validated by years of real scientific study.   He was a little reluctant to tell me about what he had read.  On the other hand, he was not sure if he totally believed what he had read so he came to discuss what he should do regarding his teeth.
I again advised him that root canal treatment would be the best course of treatment in his mouth.  That I had a front tooth with a root canal in it since I was 9 years old.  That is 44 years since I had it done and no I don't suffer from arthritis, Lou Gehrig's disease or a host of other diseases that root canals are supposed to cause.  But of course this is just my own personal observation and not science.  The science, done by Doctors and Dentists and other researchers,  corroborate the safety of this procedure.  I further asked him why would he want to take out his natural teeth and replace them with implants.  Some of these articles say a root canal tooth is a dead tooth and therefore should come out.  Great, you are going to replace one dead part with another dead part - the implant.  In most of the articles you are told that root canal treatment is one of the most expensive treatments in dentistry and you know those greedy dentist are not telling you the truth because they just want to make more money.  Well, the truth is, to extract this fellows  teeth and replace them with implant supported crowns would end up costing him 4-5 times as much money.  Another myth busted, I guess we dentists actually do care more about our patients than the money!!
There is so much more that I could elaborate on what these people are saying but I am busy actually treating and caring for my patients.
Suffice to say that this young man did have the root canals done and he is fine.
To anyone reading this out there, please be careful of all the people out there on the internet who truly would put your health at risk through dissemination of lies and half truths in support of their own personal agendas.  Your Doctors and Dentists are professional who have truly dedicated their lives to improve the lives of others.  They are not the ones you should be afraid of.

Having fun doing dentistry in Hamilton Ontario.

All the best
Dr.Ron Barzilay


  1. hello,

    i recently had root canal treatment, about four weeks ago now, and i am currently travelling for a few months so it is not possible for me to see my dentist at the moment.

    the root canal treatment was done on my first premolar on the upper left side, next to the canine tooth.

    after the procedure was done, i went to see a hygienist who cleaned in-between my teeth; i was then told to return to the dentist in 6 months so they can check if the root canal procedure succeeded and if a crown can be fitted.

    both before and after the treatment, the space in-between the root canal tooth and the second premolar left a smell on my interdental brushes. i did feel it start to get a bit better though.

    a few days ago, i noticed that the tooth that had received root canal treatment now feels rough on the outer surface. that is, the 'roughness' seems to be on the enamel, the part of the tooth that can be seen when i smile. however, the inside of the tooth that can't be seen feels normal and smooth.

    i don't remember feeling this roughness on the tooth before or immediately after the treatment, i have only noticed it recently. furthermore, the smell on the interdental brushes seems to have gotten stronger again.

    I was wondering if you had any idea what this could be?

    (the tooth also has a case of fluorosis, not sure if this is relevant).

    thank you!

    1. Hi Trixy,
      A few comments
      1. I believe that the crown needs to be placed immediately after treatment because if you wait the tooth may break and need to be extracted and then what have you acheived. IF you are waiting to see some sort of healing then at least place a temporary crown.
      2. If you feel some roughness there most likely may have been some sort of breakage on the side toward the cheek.
      3. The smell usually comes when you are getting food stuck between the teeth.
      If you are away for a number of months you can either leave it alone if it doesn't hurt or for piece of mind have someone look at it. Hopefully you are in a country where the quality of dentistry is good.
      All the best
      Dr. Ron Barzilay