Root Canals, Implants, & Extractions

What is a Root Canal?

Root canal treatment is the removal of the tooth’s pulp (includes nerves, blood and lymph vessels), a small, thread-like tissue in the center of the tooth. Once the damaged, diseased or dead pulp is removed, the remaining space is cleaned, shaped and filled.  There is  controversy surrounding the use of this therapy due to dental medicine not being able to completely sterilize the tooth structure.  There is a great deal of information available out there on the internet as well as in books regarding what each side of the controversy has to say.

Do you perform Root Canals at your office?

No, when a patient requests a root canal, we will refer them to an Endodontist (Root Canal Specialist) for treatment.  We always provide the patient with options and explain that due to the internal structure of a tooth, complete sterilization of the root is not possible.  Historically, there has been some disagreement in the medical / dental profession regarding the overall health implications of root canal therapy.  Significant studies in the early 1900’s  showed root canals to have substantial negative health implications and dentists across the nation began extracting root canaled teeth.  Currently, although the majority of dentists may consider root canal treatments to be safe, a growing number of dentists and health professional have concerns about potential negative health effects  of root canals.

Root canals are still within the standard of care and are commonly done.

Root Canal Explained

That said, I have not been doing them, and have been removing them, upon request,  for people who believe they are a risk to their health for years.

In some cases,  dramatic health changes have occurred following removal.

Enclosed are a number of resources supporting this position.

There are many more similar resources on-line.

[ Comprehensive article on root canal treatments. ]

Are there other options to root canal treatments?

Currently, the only options to root canal treatment, when indicated, are extractions.  Extracted teeth can be replaced with a cemented bridge, a removable partial denture or an implant.   Implants can be restored with a crown, or in the case of multiple teeth with a bridge.   Each of these procedures has advantages and dis-advantages.