While going to the dentist normally isn’t at the top of everyone’s “fun” list, there are a few dental procedures that really cause dread. One of these is root canal therapy. This essential treatment removes the infected material inside of a tooth, then cleans and restores it. However, while root canal therapy keeps smiles whole and healthy, it still gets a bad rap due to several myths, including that it causes cancer. Read on to learn the truth about root canals and cancer, as well as why the procedure is essential.
Where Did the Myth Come From?
The belief that root canals caused cancer has its origins in the early 20th century. It can mainly be attributed to the work of Weston Price, who ran a series of methodologically flawed tests on the relationship between bacteria in the mouth and certain diseases. It was his belief that root canal therapy left behind bacteria that could potentially lead to cancer later in life.
So, What’s the Truth About Root Canals & Cancer?
Although Weston Price’s research picked up in popularity over the years, it is now widely discredited among modern scientists. Due to the fact that Price’s experiments were controlled poorly and conducted in completely unsterilized environments, the scientific community of today places no accuracy with his findings.
Additionally, some researchers have tried to replicate his results but have failed to do so. There are no peer-reviewed studies that have demonstrated any kind of connection between root canals and cancer. In short, there is simply no verified data to back up Price’s claims.
The Importance of Root Canal Therapy
Unfortunately, these harmful myths can cause people to avoid this necessary treatment. A serious misunderstanding like thinking root canals leads to cancer can mean that some people will avoid giving their smile the care it needs!
Generally, root canals are recommended by dentists when a severe infection has developed deep within the tooth (called the pulp). These infections are usually very painful and put the tooth at risk. The goal of dentists is to keep your smile whole and healthy so a root canal may be the last hope to save your pearly white.
There is a lot of misinformation related to root canal therapy. By understanding the truth about this essential oral health care procedure, you can get the care you need to keep your smile in top condition!
About the Author
Dr. Olga Kandov and her team at Brite Smiles are eager to help you keep your smile whole, healthy, and beautiful. She earned her Doctor of Dental Medicine from the Maurice H. Kornberg School of Dentistry at Temple University where she graduated Summa Cum Laude in the top 2% of her class. By using advanced dental technology and customized plans, she can help you with any oral health issue. To schedule a same-day appointment, contact her through her website or call (215) 345-6500.