The above statement represents the scenario in the 1920s’.
People from the east Santa Barbara region are more predisposed by the works of a dentist on endodontic treatment. They were sceptical about undergoing root canal treatment. It took a lot of time for dentists in that region to regain the patient’s confidence.
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ROOT CANAL AND CANCER
In 1920 Dr.Weston A.Price presented a research article. He suggested that bacteria within a root canal treated tooth can lead to systemic diseases like breast cancer, arthritis and heart diseases.
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Moreover, he insisted upon undergoing tooth extraction rather than root canal treatment. It was an era where patients deliberately had their teeth removed as a prophylactic measure to prevent systemic infections.
It was unethical. Today many researchers contradict the findings of Dr.Price. Moreover, his work was not well designed and had many flaws in sampling.
Dr.Mercola authored an article which says that 97% of terminal cancer patients had undergone root canal treatment. Immense havoc was created in social media when this article was published.
People outragedly opposed root canal treatments out of confusion and anxiety. People with root canal treated teeth got their teeth extracted purely as a prophylactic measure. They were in a misconception that root canal causes cancer.
WHAT DOES THE PRESENT RESEARCH SAY?
In 1951 the Journal of American dental association had reviewed the works of Dr.Price and found the following conclusions.
- His work lacked many aspects of modern scientific research. Before 1920, the root canal treatment protocol was completely different from the present ones.
- The control group selection was not appropriate in the study.
- The review board also complained about the induction of excessive doses of bacteria in the study.
In 2013 a study was published in the Journal of American medical association advocating the advantages of having root canal treatment in reducing risk of cancer by 45%.
The American Association of endodontics says that Dr.Mercola’s work was not authentic.
The works of Dr.Price and Dr.Mercola are backed up by focal sepsis theory, which says that infection from one region can travel to another area through the blood.
But years of research contradict such theories. Our body has a sophisticated immune mechanism which can curb such spread of infection.
Moreover, modern-day endodontics is a safe procedure. It is done under stringent sterile conditions. Hence root canal treated cases have less chance to harbour infectious bacteria and their toxins.
Many advanced endodontic instruments like rotary endodontics or endomotor have simplified the root canal procedure. They reduced complication in root canal treatment, making it more reliable. But on otherhand, they made root canal treatments expensive. The success rates of these procedures have taken a peak look in recent years.
Coming to a definite conclusion with minimal data in hand is dangerous. The studies of Dr.price and Dr.Mercola lack authenticity.
Finding root canal treated teeth in a terminal cancer patient can be coincidental. As root canal procedures are common, every person may have at least one root canal treated teeth in his lifetime.
A research sample contains 100 diabetic patients. Out of them, 95 patients have root canal treated teeth. THEREFORE, CAN I CONCLUDE BY SAYING THAT ROOT CANAL CAUSES DIABETES?
The modern-day endodontics has evolved with stringent sterilisation and procedural protocols. Above all, these protocols are way more advanced than the procedures in 1920s’ century.
Having a root canal with a crown over it is ideal in most instances than extraction. Conserving the natural tooth to its maximum is more beneficial than having an artificial alternative. The success rates of endodontic procedures are high making it safe and reliable.
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