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Is it True that Root Canals Cause Cancer?

October 5, 2023

Filed under: Uncategorized — 333dentalcare @ 6:46 am
3D render of a root canal

Dentistry as a whole unfortunately is often maligned, and no treatment more so than root canals. For some reason, this treatment has an incredibly bad reputation, one that it frankly hasn’t earned.

While most people have heard the myth that root canals are painful, there are other untrue things that are maybe a bit less well-known, but even more harmful.

One that’s surprisingly widespread is that root canals will somehow increase your chances of developing cancer. Here’s where that belief may have come from, and why you shouldn’t pay much mind to it.

Why Do People Think Root Canals Cause Cancer?

Unlike some common myths whose origins can be a little difficult to pin down, the idea that root canals cause cancer can be traced back to a single researcher. In the 1920s, a dentist named Weston Price did elaborate research on the effects of certain dental treatments, including root canals.

Based on his research, he came to believe that root canaled teeth contained toxins even after treatment, and that these toxins could induce oral cancer.

Why This Isn’t Worth Worrying About

While it’s true that Price was a dentist, and that he did conduct studies that found this result, contemporary analysis of his work has found that it’s deeply flawed. His work, especially in this regard, has been completely discredited in recent years.

Price’s experiments were poorly controlled, and the tests he did were conducted in non-sterile environments. This is especially important given his theory that the root canal process introduces “toxins” to the mouth—this may have had more to do with the conditions of his experiment than anything inherent to root canals.

Moreover, researchers since Price have attempted to replicate his results. These endeavors have failed to reproduce the increased cancer risk that Price found, which has cast further doubts on the integrity of his research.

If you need a root canal, you shouldn’t let an abstract fear of cancer get in your way. As you can see, any concerns in this regard are largely unfounded.

About the Author

Dr. Dustin C. Lively is deeply motivated to provide the people of Magnum, OK with exceptional dental care, and he makes it a point to improve his clinical skills for the benefit of his patients. He believes that his patients shouldn’t settle for average, and he isn’t satisfied with that in himself either. Dr. Lively received his degree from the University of Oklahoma College of Dentistry and has completed continuing education courses from the Misch Implant Institute and the Pierre Fauchard Academy.

If you have any questions about root canals we can be reached at our website or by phone at (580) 782-2552.

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