Are root canals safe?

Many of you may have seen or heard about the Netflix Documentary called “Root Cause.”  The premise of this documentary is that root canal treatments can cause systemic chronic diseases such as MS, Fibromyalgia, Rheumatoid Arthritis and even certain Cancers. As with many documentaries, this one can be alarming to watch and make you wonder if a root canal is a safe treatment.

Our view is that this documentary is based on untruths and arbitrary causations that play on viewers’ emotions and is lacking scientific data.  To date, there is no study that has shown a connection, let alone causation with root canal treatment and chronic diseases.  For example, a legitimate scientific question would be:  how many people who have had root canal treatment develop cancer?  The answer is: about the same percentage of the general population regardless if the person has had root canal treatment or not.  As a matter of fact, one study showed people with root canal treatments had 45% fewer cancers.  Not one of the claims made in the documentary are supported by real research published in peer review journals.

With root canal treatment, not every microorganism is eliminated.  However, the human body is full of many microorganisms.  If after treatment the tooth is comfortable, functions normally and has noticeable bone growth around the affected roots, it has a great chance of remaining in the body for a long time without causing any other diseases to develop.

We personally have had root canal treatments on our teeth when necessary, and have no reservations recommending it for our family and friends if necessary to relieve pain and preserve the tooth.

Ask your dentist how he/she feels about this treatment.


*Special thanks to the Mid-County Endodontic Group for some of the material used in this blog.


**Dr. Archer Katz is a general and cosmetic dentist offering personalized, painless and superior dental care for patients in Emerson, NJ. Dr. Katz earned his undergraduate degree in Psychology/Chemistry in 1981 from Rutgers University, and received his DMD from Fairleigh Dickinson University in 1985. Dr. Katz believes in continuing education and is certified in BIOLASE Laser Technology, Invisalign® Orthodontics, Advanced Endodontics and Periodontics, and more. In addition, he is an active member of the American Dental Association, Bergen County Dental Society, the New Jersey Dental Association and the Academy of Facial Esthetics.  Dr. Katz has been voted a Bergen Top Dentist, for 2019, in Bergen Magazine.  He has also been chosen as one of America’s Top Dentists since 2007 by Consumers Research Council of America. To learn more about Emerson Dental Arts and the services Dr. Katz provides, please visit our website at or call/text (201) 261-3364.


Archer Katz

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