If you’ve done any research into any endodontic procedures (commonly called “root canals”), you’ve probably come across people claiming that root canals will trap bacteria in teeth. In those teeth, this belief holds, bacteria will populate and breed to cause health complications that can last for years. Some even hold it will include higher risk of heart disease!
Is it true?
Root canals are among the most common procedures completed around the United States. In the latest statistics available, 22 million of them were performed annually. You probably know someone who’s had one—you may have had one yourself. If there’s such a problem, it’s important to know.
Root canals are safe
To dig back to the roots of this myth, you have to go back about a hundred years to early research into teeth that drew on a popular theory of the time: focal infection. Focal infection held that infections in one area of the body could easily cause effects elsewhere, and the particular worry for root canals was an infection of the heart, like infective endocarditis.
That worry, though, has been put to bed by more recent studies. There’s no real evidence left at this point that root canals are a problem for your health over the long term. Root canals involve removing the infected tissue in the middle of a tooth, disinfecting the cavity that’s left behind, filling it, then capping it off so nothing more can enter.
Once the tooth is capped, it’s just as clean an environment as a regular tooth. The only worry that you have to have is if somehow the tooth gets broken somehow (lost cap, broken wall, or other damage).
Root canals are perfectly safe, and you shouldn’t worry about getting one done. If you haven’t had a checkup in a while, or if you know you need a root canal or other procedure done, give our office a call or drop by and see us. We’ll get you set up with an appointment and help you get your oral health right.