The effectiveness of root canal treatment is well established in dentistry, but according to the American Association of Endodontists, misinformation continues to circulate on the Internet that may cause patients to question the safety of endodontics. During its recent Root Canal Awareness Week, which was held March 30 to April 5, the AAE asked everyone in the dental industry to be an advocate for good dental health and share information about root canal safety.
Now, a new web page, www.aae.org/rootcanalsafety, provides endodontists, general dentists, dental media, industry partners and patients with authoritative and reliable information about the safety of endodontic treatment, while debunking myths that root canals cause cancer or other health problems.
“As dental professionals, we know there is no evidence of a link between root canal treatment and cancer or other diseases,” said AAE President Dr. Gary R. Hartwell. “Unfortunately, claims to the contrary, with sensational headlines, continue to make their way through social media and can be persuasive to a small portion of the public. It is in the best interest of patients to understand there is no valid, scientific evidence linking root canals to such health problems, and also to understand the advancements in modern dentistry that make endodontic treatment predictable, effective and successful.”
AAE resources to help support root canal safety include the following:
- Root Canal Safety Fact Sheet — explains the history of focal infection theory and research showing that there is no valid, scientific evidence linking endodontically treated teeth and systemic disease.
- Myths About Root Canals — patient-focused information explaining the safety and effectiveness of root canal treatment.
- Tooth Saving Tips — patient-focused resource explaining why saving a tooth is the preferred choice for optimal health.
- Endodontists Put Root Canal Patients at Ease — video educating patients about endodontic specialists and root canal procedures.
- Endodontists: Partners in Patient Care — video explaining the relationship between general dentists and endodontic specialists.
A recent study published in JAMA Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery tested the association between dental caries and head and neck cancers. Results indicate that patients who have had one endodontic treatment had no change in their risk of cancer, while those who had two or more endodontic treatments actually had a 45 percent reduction in their risk of cancer. The study could be a valuable talking point with patients and reinforces the fact that root canal treatment is both a safe and effective way to save the natural dentition.
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